Live Nation reported that their first quarter 2021 revenue was down 79% compared to the first quarter of 2020. However, they also added that the events planned for later in the year are “selling out faster than ever before.”
Their total revenue figure for Q1 2021 was $290 million, compared to the $1,365,700,000 approximate total revenue from the same quarter in 2020. The company’s key revenue areas, concerts and ticketing, earned $239 million and $28 million respectively for Q1 2021. Those numbers are down 76% and 90% respectively from Q1 2020.
Total revenue in 2020 had fallen by 84% compared to 2019, meaning a $9 billion decrease in revenue from the year before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s $1,861,200,000 compared to 2019’s $11,548,000,000.
However, the concert-going crowd seems anxious to get back to in-person performances, and Live Nation reports that they’re “seeing the effects of significant pent-up demand” from all of the tours that had to be postponed. Vaccination programs rolling out across the US and the UK look on-track to allow live music to return later in 2021.
Live Nation President/CEO Michael Rapino is definitely outwardly optimistic about the rest of the year. Aside from pointing out that fans are purchasing tickets at faster-than-normal rates, he commented that Live Nation’s “sponsorship pipeline” for 2022 is up by “double digits” compared to where it was at for 2019 looking towards 2020 at the same time that year.
It’s also worth noting how much cash and cash equivalents Live Nation has available – $1.1 billion of free cash out of $3 billion total. They report that adding their $964 million of ‘available debt capacity’ gives them $2.1 billion of cash and liquid assets available. Since they’re such a large company, they reported that they believe “this level of liquidity allows [them] to fund operations until the expected return of concerts beginning in the summer of 2021, preceded by ticket sales earlier in the year.”
They also reported some facts on tickets for postponed and canceled concerts. Live Nation had a 17% global refund rate for concerts that have been rescheduled and closed their refund window in Q1 2021. The company states that they’ve refunded $295 million for rescheduled events and $920 million for canceled events since the COVID-19 lockdown began. As for festivals, 65% of ticket buyers are reportedly holding onto their tickets.
Rapino had more to say to investors following the release of the Q1 2021 results, “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 US, over 40% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and most states are now fully or partially reopened with more restrictions being lifted daily. In the UK, 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.”
He continued for a bit with talk of how people have demonstrated their need to socialize around the world and how Live Nation’s investors will help them reopen later this year. He concluded, “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.”
Live Nation had gained $500 million in January through a secured note sale and purchased a majority stake in popular virtual event platform Veeps. Over 60 key venues across the country have been equipped with livestream capability for the meantime until people readjust to live events.