Audiences are returning to live broadcasts, even with Covid vaccine policies

Audiences are returning to live broadcasts, even with Covid vaccine policies

Live entertainment is back, says Joe Berchtold, President of Live Nation.

The company, which owns Ticketmaster, said 8 million people attended its shows in August, building on the momentum of the second quarter, when revenue rose 677% from a year earlier to reach $ 575.9 million.

“All of our festivals – Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Governors Ball – are selling faster than ever,” Berchtold said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bells”.

“We only have a 2% cancellation rate. It made the headlines. But, in fact, our turnout has been great, the shows have continued, the fans are happy to be back.

Attendance is expected to remain below 2019 levels for the remainder of the year, Berchtold said, but 2022 “will be bigger than 2019”. The company’s concert pipeline has seen double-digit growth from two years ago, he added.

Consumers, who haven’t been able to get together at concerts and live shows for over a year due to the COVID pandemic, “show up and spend money,” he said . At BottleRock, a music festival that took place this weekend in Napa Valley, members of the public spent an average of $ 80 per day on food and drink, double digits from 2019.

Berchtold said the company’s vaccination policy requires members of the public to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative coronavirus test to access events. He said more than 90% of Lollapalooza participants were vaccinated. Of these, 12% said they were vaccinated because they wanted to join in the celebration.

As for BottleRock, Berchtold said 96% of participants were vaccinated.

“We believe it is our responsibility and what we need to do to make sure everyone can come together safely,” he said.

He said less than 1% of ticket holders show up to places without vaccinations or proof of a negative COVID test.

“We usually found a place nearby where they can go to get tested and still come back and take part in a festival or a show,” he said.

Several musicians, bands and even top comedians have recently announced revisions to their tours or have canceled them altogether. Korean pop group BTS and country group Florida Georgia Line have both canceled tours due to the ongoing pandemic. Michael Buble, Stevie Nicks, Korn, Kiss and Nine Inch Nails have also revised their performance schedules.

Recently, comedian Patton Oswalt canceled tour dates in Florida and Salt Lake City in 2022 because venues would not comply with his request that attendees show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID test.

Broadway cinemas and theaters are also looking to get back on their feet after ticket sales and venues close due to the pandemic. Mask warrants are back in many places in the United States as unvaccinated and unvaccinated cases have increased due to the delta version of the Covid.

The entertainment industry is hoping stalled demand will bring audiences back and rejuvenate the business.

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