LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, Live Nation Entertainment reported the results of their first fiscal quarter for 2021 and while the company faced steep losses, the quarterly results hinted at the first signs of a recovery for the live entertainment industry.
For the quarter, Live Nation reported revenue of $290.6 million, down from $1,365.7 million in the first quarter of 2020, a period which was largely unaffected by the shutdown, amounting to a 79% decline at constant currency.
The revenue declines impacted all of Live Nation’s operating segments, but ticketing saw the sharpest drop, reporting just $28.3 million for the quarter, down 90% from Q1 2020.
Operating income was equally grim, with Live Nation losing an aggregate of $303 million in Q1 2021, up 73% last year when the promoter-giant posted losses of $172.7 million.
Adjusted operating income told a similar story, with $151m in losses for the quarter, up substantially from the $20.5 million loss Live Nation posted for the quarter last year.
For the quarter, Live Nation revealed that it produced just 300 events in North America, a mere fraction of the 4,277 it estimated for Q1 2020.
Despite the financially challenging results, Live Nation says it is poised to weather the storm, with $2.1 billion of available liquidity, including $1.1 billion in free cash and available credit of $964 million.
According to Live Nation, this level of liquidity allows it to fund operations until the expected return of concerts beginning in the summer of 2021, bolstered by the resumption of ticket sales at scale this spring.
As well, in their quarterly earnings release, Live Nation President & CEO Michael Rapino said key indicators are shaping up to suggest a pathway to a robust recovery for the concert industry.
“When we reported our 2020 results in February, I was optimistic that we would soon be returning to live events, and since then, our confidence has increased for our key markets. In the U.S., over 40% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and most states are now fully or partially reopen with more restrictions being lifted daily. In the U.K., over 50% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and their reopening roadmap is tracking to plan. Although Europe remains a few months behind on vaccinations, they are progressing and recent discussions about reopening to international visitors this summer are encouraging,” Rapino said.
He also noted that fan demand for live music seemed stronger than ever with major festivals in the company’s portfolio, including Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy and Rolling Loud selling out at record rates.
“In the U.K., we have 11 festivals planned for this summer, including our largest ones – Reading, Leeds and Parklife – where tickets have already sold out, and in New Zealand, the country’s largest festival, Rhythm and Vines, also quickly sold out,” Rapino noted.
Rapino also highlighted Live Nation’s concert pipeline with the total number of shows up by “double digits” from 2019 and major tours such as Dave Matthews, Luke Bryan, and Maroon 5 in the offing for late 2021 and early 2022.
“Given the longer lead times associated with global arena and stadium tours, we expect these will start later this year and into 2022. We are already seeing confirmed major tour dates for 2022 up double digits from the same time pre-pandemic in 2019 for 2020. Many of these artists will have multi-year tours, spanning the U.S., Europe and often either Asia or Latin America, setting us up for a strong multi-year growth run,” Rapino said.
Other positive indicators included double digit increases in sponsorship commitments as well as the addition of new clients for Ticketmaster which represent more than 5 million net new fee-bearing tickets.
“Like so many of you, I’m excited to get back to concerts over the next few months, and even more excited to see what I expect to be a non-stop 2022, that continues roaring into 2023 and beyond,” Rapino concluded.