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Live Nation Boss Expects a ‘Robust Outdoor Summer Season’ in 2021

It’s been doom and gloom for the concert (and basically, music) biz since the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. However, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite a cataclysmic drop in revenue by an unfathomable 98%, Rapino is confident that live music will return to a “robust” state as soon as as next summer.

In a memo shared with Live Nation investors ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Rapino outlined why he’s optimistic:

Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so. Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund. Through the end of the second quarter, 86% of concert fans are keeping their tickets for rescheduled shows, demonstrating their continued desire to attend concerts in the future despite the current uncertainty.

Our expectations for a robust outdoor summer season in 2021 are also reinforced by the two-thirds of fans keeping their tickets for canceled festivals so they can go to next year’s show, along with strong early ticket sales for festivals in the UK next summer – for example, Download and Isle of Wight are pacing well ahead of last year.

While it’s nice to hear that forecast, not all expert predictions are so positive. Recently, former WME agent and Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger said he believed that large-scale music events wouldn’t return until 2022 and detailed his reasoning.