The live event industry is taking a hard hit due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Top concert tours are being cancelled or postponed, while high-scale festivals have been called-off.
Earlier this month, promoter giants Live Nation Entertainment and AEG, as well as booking agencies WME, Creative Artists Agency, UTA, and Paradigm released a join statement, noting that all major tours will be halted worldwide. Live Nation postponed all tours throughout the end of the month, but artists and festivals have begun postponing or cancelling events through June.
According to Billboard Boxscore, the top 30 tours of March and April 2019 collectively grossed $697.5 million, selling over 6.5 million tickets during that 61-day period. That revenue represented an 11% increase from the same period in 2018, which had also increased 9% from the previous year. In 2020, those numbers are expected to increase, especially as Live Nation noted in its annual revenue report the company had its ninth year of consecutive growth in 2019.
If 2020 earnings increase between 5% and 10%, the top 30 tours throughout March and April would have grossed approximately $750 million. However, not all of March’s revenue is lost, since the beginning of the month featured concerts from A-list artists like Billy Joel, Halsey, and Blake Shelton. A handful of popular artists – like Cher, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Chris Stapleton – were supposed to tour throughout the end of the month, while Tame Impala, JoJo Siwa, and Billie Eilish were among the acts taking over arenas across the country.
Now, some of the artists that were set to bring in million of revenue, like the K-Pop outfit BTS, country’s Kenny Chesney, and rock’s Guns ‘N Roses, won’t hit stadiums until this summer. Additionally, rock icons of The Rolling Stones will certainly cause a blow to spring 2020’s earnings, since the band averaged over $11 million per show during their No Filter Tour in 2019, Billboard reports.
So where does the industry go from here? Many artists have already postponed dates. While fans might have to wait a little longer to see their favorite acts this fall, or even in 2020, we can expect the industry to be booming with sales when life returns to normal – whenever that shall be.