Live Nation President Shares ‘Confidence About Return to Live’
Live Nation President Joe Berchtold said his company was feeling “very good” about the prospect of live music events being held worldwide at close to pre-coronavirus conditions within six months.
He reported that vaccine developments had increased confidence about lockdowns and isolation rules coming to an end, and listed a number of markets where venues were already able to offer an experience close to those enjoyed by audiences in the past.
“We feel very good right now,” Berchtold related to CNBC in a new interview. “At this point, given the vaccine news, we start to see with much greater clarity what the path to return to live is.”
He said there was “a lot of confidence about that return to live. ... We’re already starting to see in Asia some show coming back, New Zealand operating at full capacity, other Asian markets are making more progress [and] are getting back more quickly. ... In the key U.S., Western European markets, it continues to be our expectation that by next summer, we’re back with our major outdoor shows – our amphitheaters here in the U.S., festivals globally. We’ll be able to do those shows.”
You can watch the interview below.
Berchtold said more than 20 million customers held onto their tickets for postponed events, which means Live Nation has a good start with 4,000 shows ready to move forward during 2021. “We think that by the time we get to next summer, we’ll really have restarted the live engine,” he noted.
Asked about what kind of virus-related restrictions fans might expect at events next year, he replied: “We won’t need social distancing, certainly outdoors, by next summer, and we’ve got a number of protocols … creating a safe environment.”
He said that, with the expectation that a vaccination would be “readily available to everybody,” people would be able to attend shows without having to prove they’d taken the medication. “By that point it won’t be necessary,” he said.