Live Nation President Outlines 2021 Concert Plans

While we’ve noticed on the back end that outdoor stadiums and amphitheaters are already booked up for next year, we also see that artists are hesitant to promote those tours. Have no fear though…

Live Nation president Joe Berchtold on Monday appeared on CNBC‘s Squawk Alley to discuss the state of the live music industry with regard to the ongoing pandemic as we head into winter and an uncertain new calendar year.

Plans for the return of LIVE CONCERTS in 2021

When asked about his outlook on when we’ll start to see the live events industry come back in a meaningful way, Berchtold responded with notable optimism, “We feel very good right now … at this point, given the vaccine news, we start to see with much greater clarity what the path to return to live is, and certainly a lot of confidence about that return to live. At this point, on a global basis, we’re already starting to see in Asia some shows coming back, New Zealand operating at full capacity, other Asian markets that have made more progress are getting back more quickly.”

Berchtold continued, “In the key U.S./Western European markets, it continues to be our expectation that by next summer, we’re back with our major outdoor shows—our amphitheaters here in the U.S., festivals globally. We’ll be able to do those shows.”

The Live Nation president also addressed the public’s desire to return to concerts and festivals. “As a reminder,” he explained, “what we had originally scheduled in 2020, we’ve lifted and moved to 2021. So, we have almost 20 million fans who’ve held onto their tickets… almost all fans holding on to their tickets for over 4,000 shows. We have those shows already set up, we have all those fans already looking forward to getting back, and we think that by the time we get to next summer, we’ll really have restarted the live engine and get going with being able to bring the artists and the fans back together.”

From there, Berchtold spoke about the safety measures Live Nation will need to implement to make this return to live concerts in 2021 a reality. Berchtold explained, “It’s our expectation in general that we’ll be able to get back to have full-capacity shows, that we won’t need social distancing—certainly outdoors—by next summer. We’ve got a number of protocols we’ll take with all of our venues in terms of how it is we make sure we’re sanitizing and creating a safe environment for our artists, our employees, and our fans.”

“We think that by that point,” he continued, “we’ll have enough distribution of vaccine, the expectation that it will be readily available for everybody. And we’ll work with all the local public health authorities. Again, on a global basis, there will be different rules in different markets, and whatever it is that’s required, but in general, we think we’ll be able to get back to full capacity and people enjoying the shows.”

Responding to a hot button question about whether the event production giant would require negative coronavirus tests or vaccines to attend concerts in 2021, he added, “We can’t predict what every local market health official rules are going to be, and we’ll work and we’ll follow those rules where they exist, and if we need to do something, we will, but in general, it’s our expectation that by that point that won’t be necessary just given the great progress that we’ve had on the vaccine, with more hopefully in the wings continuing to come and accelerate even where we’re at today.”

Joe Berchtold also spoke to hosts about various technological initiatives being developed to help facilitate the return to live, including a greater focus on digital ticketing and touchless features at events. Watch the full interview with Berchtold about the potential return of concerts in 2021 below:

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