Live Nation is optimistic about the impending summer festival season and has already begun selling tickets to three huge U.K. outdoor events this week. He also believes that U.S. festivals “can start in midsummer and in the southern U.S. we can go all the way into November.”
Variety reports that the entertainment company’s CEO Michael Rapino made these comments on an earnings call on Thursday, after the British government issued a timeline that large music events can reopen at 100 percent capacity starting June 21, the beginning of the summer season. Based on the government’s findings, Live Nation opened its sales, releasing around 170,000 tickets—100,000 for the Reading & Leeds festival, which will fall on the weekend of Aug. 27 to 29 and 70,000 for its Creamfields festival, from Aug. 26 to 29. The latter festival sold out in a “record-breaking” 48 hours.
Company CEO Michael Rapino was positive about these numbers on the Thursday call, and confident North America will be in a similar position soon. When asked at what time large-scale events will continue in the U.S., he said, “Every day we seem to have a new state or country talking about when they’ll open up, so we’re feeling more optimistic than we were a month ago.”
He continued, “Lots of artists are calling, looking at how we start up in July, August, September. So for right now, we still believe we’ll have enough open in the U.K., Australia, Canada and the U.S. to keep what we have on the books in amphitheaters booked for now. We might have certain states that might not be ready, but we have enough states and enough artists willing to play the open slots if we get to that level in the right markets.” He added, “So as long as these states open up to the right capacities.
Rapino himself mentioned that the U.S. hasn’t designated a clear timeline like the U.K. and that those kinds of decisions may be left to states or counties. “[We] think we’re better off waiting for a high bar capacity moment in most of the states to ramp up and talk to the artists about getting paid properly,” he explained. He also said he believes a 75 percent reopening capacity in the U.S. is “within sight.”