LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – AEG Presents, the world’s second-largest live-entertainment company, has announced that it will be making significant employee layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts due to the economic fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AEG Presents is responsible for some of the biggest festivals in the US including Coachella and Firefly Festival as well as tours by global superstars such as Celine Dion and Elton John. While the company implemented across-the-board salary reductions for employees back in April in an effort to avoid such layoffs, the global shutdown of the concert and festival industries has made it impossible for AEG and others that exist in the live entertainment space to generate any income.
Primary rival Live Nation has already furloughed approximately 20% of its staff with CEO Michael Rapino having given up his salary for the year, while talent agencies including WME and Paradigm among others were also forced to make significant cuts earlier this year.
In a memo sent to staff Monday (June 8), AEG Chief Executive Dan Beckerman said: “This global pandemic has disrupted life for everyone, and the shelter-in-place orders, while critical to flatten the curve, have dealt a devastating blow to our businesses. It is clear now that live events with fans will not resume for many months and likely not until sometime in 2021, so we are faced with no easy options.
“We have gone to extreme measures to cut costs and preserve jobs. We instituted a 20% across-the-board reduction in salaries, we drastically cut expenses and we eliminated all unnecessary projects, investments and capital expenditures,” Beckerman added. “But we’ve simply never experienced times like these, in which our operations have come to a complete stop due to a force beyond our control.
“Our businesses were among the first to close, and unfortunately will be among the last to reopen. Despite the drastic measures we’ve taken to avoid staff reductions, unfortunately it is clear that this step is unavoidable.”
In a separate memo sent to AEG staff, CEO Jay Marciano said: “This has been an incredibly challenging time on so many fronts, and I want you all to know that we are acutely aware of the toll that all of these factors are taking on everyone. There’s never a good time to go through what we are going through as a company, but this is an especially difficult one.
“We did not come to today’s decisions lightly,” he added. “During the last few months we kept our company intact to ensure that those of you who would be the most affected would have the best safety net we could provide. While it’s small solace, I see this as a testament to the culture that exists at AEG and the important role you have played in building this environment.”
The layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts are expected to impact all areas of the company and will begin effective July 1.