concert
[Photo by Johannes Havn/Pexels]

Live Nation is ready to start testing a number of different ideas in a way to get some form of live music happening this summer. With the coronavirus having halted all sorts of public gatherings, the promoter and Ticketmaster owner is planning to experiment with crowdless shows, drive-ins and reduced capacity concerts. 

The testing has already begun as seen by an upcoming concert in Arkansas occurring next week. That show has also cut the capacity of the entire venue by about 80%. It’s also selling seating in the form of “Fan Pods.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has halted virtually everything since the middle of March.  Festivals started rescheduled or cancelingLive Nation and AEG postponed all of their current and upcoming tours and movie release dates were pushed back as theaters shuttered and closed

As states and countries slowly begin to open back up, many officials and business owners are unsure about the best way to proceed. It needs to be done effectively, in order to minimize the risk of another outbreak. 

Live Nation is beginning to play around with different formats to be safe. 

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Many Americans have stated that even if concerts and movie theaters open back up, they’re hesitant about going until a coronavirus vaccine is available. 

But, Live Nation wants to see what they can do to not only get bands back out there and making money, but also to make money themselves. 

According to Rolling Stone, Live Nation reported a 21% drop in revenue for its first quarter. Concert revenue and specifically ticket revenue have dropped 25% and 16%, respectively. And, shares have dropped 48% since the middle of February. 

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In their investor earnings call, Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino spoke of the future. He detailed all of the ways they will test bringing back new music. He stated that live broadcasted shows, limited capacity and even drive-in shows could be an option. 

“Whether it’s in Arkansas or a state that is safe, secure and politically is fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fanless concerts with broadcasts, we’re going to go and do reduced capacity shows because we can make the math work,” Rapino said.

“There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do 10 higher-end smaller theaters or clubs. We’re seeing lots of artists chomping to get back out once it’s safe.”

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It’s not just in the United States either. In fact, Rapino said that they also plan to test in other countries. Those that have fared much better than the US in terms of coronavirus. 

“You’re going to see us in different countries, whether it’s Finland, whether it’s Asia, Hong Kong — certain markets are farther ahead — we kind of look at over the summer there will be testing happening.”

“So it’s important for us to keep doing drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out, which we’re having some success with, fanless concerts which have great broadcasting opportunities, reduced capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors, could be in a theater, could be in a large stadium floor where there’s enough room to be safe. We have all of these plans in place depending on the market and where that local city may sit in their reopening phases.”

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Denmark and other parts of Europe have already seen some success with drive-in concerts. What started as a few shows has since blown up into the first drive-in concert tour in the US by electronic artist Marc Rebillet. 

So stay tuned to see what creative shape live music could take in 2020 and beyond.

Would you go to a drive-in concert or pay to see a live broadcast? Tell us your thoughts on the potential future of concerts on the comments below!

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