Live Nation President feels “very good” about prospect of live music returning next summer

“We start to see with much greater clarity what the path to return to live is," said Joe Berchtold

The president of Live Nation says he feels “very good” about the prospect of traditional live music returning next summer.

Joe Berchtold said he can now see “with much greater clarity” what the path to the return of live music looks like.

“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,” Berchtold told CNBC in a new interview, which you can watch below.

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He added: “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 comments echo those of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, who said in August that there were positive signs for next year’s summer events already. “Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so,” he wrote in a memo to staff. “Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund.”

The Live Nation boss’ comments come after other industry figures have been more cautious about live music’s return. Back in July, Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger said he didn’t think gigs and festivals would return until 2022.

The beginning of vaccine distribution in the UK this week led Health Secretary Matt Hancock to claim that “everybody” will be able to enjoy live music in Summer 2021.

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“We’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy,” he said. “Between now and then we’ve got to hold our resolve. We passed the tiering arrangements through the Commons with a big majority last night. Let’s all respect the restrictions we have to live our lives in for now.”

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has said that  “massive testing arrangements” could be put in place at next year’s Glastonbury Festival owing to the pandemic, echoing comments made recently by Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn, who told NME that he was confident that, in regards to R&L 2021, “we don’t need a vaccination because we can work through the problem with a really good testing regime”.

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