Live Nation held its first quarter investor earnings call on Thursday (5/7), which was largely about the company's revenue loss as venues remain shut down amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but also touched on plans for what the immediate future of concerts might look like. We've already heard that a drive-in concert tour is coming to the US in June, and in Arkansas, a limited capacity show with myriad restrictions is scheduled to happen a week from today, on Friday, May 15. As Variety reports, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino is more of these measures, and a few others, going forward.
"Over the next six months, we’ll be starting slow and small, focusing on the basics and testing regionally," Rapino said. "But whether it’s in Arkansas or [another] state that is safe, secure and politically fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fan-less concerts with broadcasts and reduced-capacity shows, because we can make the math work."
"There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do higher-end theaters or clubs," Rapino continued. "So you’re gonna see us [gradually reopening] in different countries, whether it’s Finland, Asia, Hong Kong — certain markets are farther ahead [in the recovery process]. Over the summer there will be testing happening, whether it’s fan-less concerts, which offer great broadcast opportunities and are really important for our sponsorship business; drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out and we’re having some success with; or reduced-capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors in a theater on a large stadium floor, where there’s enough room to be safe."
Meanwhile, after coming under fire over alleged changes in the language of their refund policy, Rapino said that, with their ticket refund plan implemented, 90% of ticketholders have opted to keep their tickets so far.