About three months after furloughing more than 2,000 employees to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis, Live Nation has laid off hundreds of additional team members.
The leading concert promoter’s latest cost-cutting measures recently came to light, though at the time of this writing, Live Nation officials hadn’t revealed exactly how many individuals were affected by the staff reduction. This newest move to weather the financial and operational hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly impacted professionals in both the ticketing and live-event departments. And aside from the aforementioned 2,000-worker layoff in May, Live Nation’s wholly-owned Ticketmaster subsidiary parted with a quarter of its ranks in April.
On the funding front, the Beverly Hills-based company moved forward with a $1.2 billion senior note round in May, having upped the figure from an originally planned $800 million initiative. The debt offering – and the personnel cutbacks – arrived as concerts, music festivals, and other crowd-based entertainment events remained largely on ice due to COVID-19 and the associated lockdown restrictions. Live Nation higher-ups indicated in their company’s Q2 2020 earnings report (which disclosed a 98 percent year-over-year revenue dip) that they’re expecting live gigs to reemerge “at scale” next summer.
In this vein, recent weeks haven’t been without positive developments. CTS Eventim suffered a 96 percent year-over-year falloff in quarterly revenue, but like Live Nation, the German live-entertainment giant struck a positive tone when discussing the prospect of concerts’ enjoying a full-scale return in 2021. Insomniac (of which Live Nation owns roughly 50 percent) announced today that tickets to its newest music festival, Day Trip, had sold out in just 90 minutes.
Based upon this and ample other evidence, the live-event sphere appears poised to enjoy a triumphant comeback on the heels of the unprecedented disruption ushered in by the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, the possible return to form seems to be at least months away, and ongoing fiscal challenges and concerns are continuing to weigh on industry companies, professionals, and artists.
To be sure, we reported on Tuesday that 64 percent of UK musicians are considering quitting music due to present difficulties – including, most conspicuously, a major lack of performance (and earning) opportunities. Separately, the Music Venue Trust, a non-profit advocate of music venues in the United Kingdom, indicated that “grassroots” establishments would be largely unable to abide by and welcome fans under London’s social distancing requirements for indoor entertainment events.
On the day, Live Nation’s stock value grew by nearly three percent, with shares worth $57.58 apiece at the time of the market’s closing.