The gradual return of live music in key markets is cause for optimism for Live Nation which has reported a 34.2% increase in concert revenue from the fourth quarter of 2020.
In the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, CEO Michael Rapino said Live Nation is experiencing the effects of ‘significant pent-up demand’ for live events.
“In the US, Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy and Rolling Loud festivals all sold out in record times at full capacity,” he said.
“In the UK, we have 11 festivals planned this summer, including our largest ones Reading, Leeds and Parklife where tickets are already sold out. New Zealand, the country’s largest festival, Rhythm and Vines quickly sold out.
“And as we get further clarity on reopening timelines, we are announcing more tours for late this summer, including Dave Matthews, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5 and others to come, showing artists’ increasing confidence in performing this summer.”
Next year is also looking increasingly busy for Live Nation after the number of major tours for 2022 increased by double-digits from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to the company.
Live Nation is confident that Q2 2021 will be its first year-on-year improvement since Q4 of 2019
In further encouraging news, the earnings also show that all key cost and cash numbers improved relative to Q4 2020 with revenue up 22% at $290.6 million. Operating loss is down 22% to $303.2m and net loss is down 53% to $322.7m.
While the year-on-year comparisons are not as positive, Live Nation president Joe Berchtold is confident that Q2 2021 will be the company’s first year-on-year improvement since Q4 of 2019.
At the end of Q1 2021, the company had total cash and cash equivalents of $3bn, which includes $1.1bn of free cash.
This free cash, along with $964m of available debt capacity, gives the company $2.1bn of available liquidity.
The company believes this level of liquidity allows it to fund operations until the expected return of concerts beginning in the summer of 2021, preceded by ticket sales earlier in the year.
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