The concert industry clearly wants to get back to work, as a wave of announcements on Friday proved. But what these announcements have also proven is that getting back to work will require a leap of faith on the part of all parties involved, especially the government.
Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, speaking on an earnings call and citing conversations with state governors, said “a clear overview of 75% to 100% capacity” for outdoor events in the United States in 2021 looked likely to be green light.
“We see… what we are talking about: [fans] are delighted to return to the show as soon as we have the green light on these markets to open up, ”he added.
That view was reinforced this week across the pond. On Monday, the UK government said major music events in the UK could resume to 100% capacity as of June 21. Live Nation swung into action, putting 100,000 tickets on sale for the Reading & Leeds festival on August 27-29. The concert was sold out by the end of the week. Live Nation also sold tickets for the dance music-based Creamfields Festival August 26-29. This sold 70,000 tickets in 48 hours.
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This means that at least some states are likely to see live outdoor concerts by the end of the summer. “So as long as these states open up to the right capabilities, we can start in mid-summer and in the southern United States we can go through November,” Rapino said.
This enthusiasm was tempered by an announcement Friday from Taylor Swift. She has officially canceled her previously postponed “Lover Fest” tour dates. Swift said on Twitter that “No one knows what the touring landscape will look like in the future.”
With sporting events, indoor restaurants and movie theaters reopening across the country with pandemic protections in place, it looks like we’ll have at least a few events this summer. The desire is apparently there on the part of the fans. It will now take the courage of the market and the government to allow mass gatherings to resume.