With persisting restrictions on large gatherings and events worldwide, concert giant Live Nation reported another quarter of earnings that didn't exactly excite investors.
The top line number included a 95% drop in year-over-year revenue compared to Q3 2019, leading to an operating loss of $504 million for the quarter. Despite the unsightly financial results, Live Nation's CEO Michael Rapino spoke to a rosier outlook for the company in the coming year. In addition to continued efficiencies in cost-cutting, Rapino stated that the company "expect[s] shows at scale next summer."
It's a bullish statement given current uncertainties around government pandemic restrictions and the deployment of an effective vaccine. Rapino cited advancements in testing, venue sanitation procedure, and ticketing, including the Live Nation's own SmartEvent contactless ticketing and tracing platform, as some of the backup for his belief. "Meanwhile, we are working on a roadmap to get back to live safely," he said. "We are encouraged by progress on testing technology treatments and vaccines which will help us build our plans."
Rapino additionally suggested demand for 2021 shows remains high, citing low refund rates for festivals currently on the books for next summer. Rapino left some room for flexibility in his comments, however, qualifying that the path to returning to events at scale in 2021 will not be a linear one, and the overall event picture will vary by region.
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Source: IQ Magazine