The global pandemic is in the rear-view mirror for Live Nation, whose Q1 revenues jumped 73% as attendance levels skyrocketed — approaching 20 million as fans rushed in droves to return to live shows.
Despite — or perhaps owing in part to — bad press from Taylor Swift and issues with its Ticketmaster division and incoming legislation following a Senate hearing, Live Nation posted a record-breaking quarter in Q1 2023. The company earned $3.1 billion in revenue — up 73 percent from the same period last year, with nearly 20 million fans attending its events amid the return of the global touring industry to its full strength.
Live Nation’s concerts division sold almost 90 million tickets for shows this year in the first quarter alone, more than 20 percent ahead of last year, with an adjusted operating income of $320 million — a 53 percent increase.
“With many major tours — from Beyonce to Drake to Bruce Springsteen — demand was so strong that even when artists added a number of additional shows, they still were not able to meet all of the fan demand,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s CEO. “We think there’s years of industry growth ahead.”
“This performance is indicative of our continued long-term growth and sets the stage for a record 2023, as we are more positive than ever about artists touring, fans attending concerts to see their favorite artists, and our role helping make this happen,” continued Rapino.
Unsurprisingly, Ticketmaster led the company’s sale of over 73 million “fee-bearing” tickets, up 40 percent, delivering $7.7 billion in fee-bearing gross transaction volume, up 60 percent.
“We’re watching what’s going on, and we believe that through all of the noise, most people are ending up where we are, in the principles of the FAIR Act — all-in pricing, cleaning up deceptive practices, these seem to be common themes in these bills,” said Rapino. “These are all in the same vein of helping the artist control their tickets and get them into the hands of fans” while avoiding the secondary market.
“Right now, it’s the wild west, and we’re doing our best — but this is not (Live Nation) versus any of these. We’re aligned on all of them,” Rapino concluded.