Joe Berchtold, president of Live Nation, joined CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” to discuss how the company is dealing with the drop in demand for live events amid the coronavirus shutdown. When asked when the concert and live business can start back up again, Berchtold says, “that is the question that everybody asks and, unfortunately, the question that can’t be answered right now.”
“So much of depends on what everybody does over the coming month, the effectiveness of our continued social distancing, how we develop testing, etc.,” he continues. “We look at this on two different time horizons. One is a year from now to 15 months from now. As we have the vaccine in place, we’re highly confident that concerts in 2021 and 2022 will be bigger than ever.”
Alas, these timelines comport with expert opinions that previously predicted large-scale events won’t be returning until fall 2021. Some health experts have shared their doubts that the nation’s concert season can be restarted before autumn. Zeke Emanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times that he doubts large events will be able to resume until fall 2021 at the earliest.
“Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this [or that] event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
Watch the short news clip below to hear more about Live Nation cutting costs amid the coronavirus.