Among the many industries hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic is the live music business. Just this week, independent venues in the U.S. formed a coalition in hopes of securing federal aid to ensure they remain in business once things return “to normal” — or whatever might qualify as “normal” once the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Live Nation Entertainment is also making plans to help itself remain operational, per a report from Rolling Stone.
Earlier this week, Live Nation President/CEO Michael Rapino touched on a number of relevant topics regarding the sagging live music industry, indicating that Live Nation Entertainment (which reported a 21 percent drop in the first quarter of 2020 due to COVID-19) is expecting to try some new things … namely, “crowdless” performances broadcast online and drive-in concerts:
“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.”
Recent weeks have seen the birth of “drive-in” German raves, and U.S.-based experimental artist Marc Rebillet announced plans for the first drive-in concert tour for next month.
Rapino said Live Nation is planning on more of those, as well:
“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.”