The president of Live Nation says he feels “very good” about the prospect of traditional live music returning next summer. In a recent interview with CNBC, Joe Berchtold shared his thoughts with reporters.
“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. 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 amphitheatres here in the US, [and] festivals globally. We’ll be able to do those shows.”
Similar comments were made last August by Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. In a memo he sent to staff, Rapino said there were already positive signs for next year’s summer events.
“Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so,” said Rapino. “Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund.”
Berchtold’s comments come after other industry figures have been more cautious about live music’s return. In July, Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger said that he does not anticipate gigs and festivals returning until 2022.
Meanwhile, distribution of a vaccine in the UK started this week. It has led Health Secretary Matt Hancock to claim “everybody” will be able to enjoy live music in Summer 2021.
“We’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy,” said Hancock. “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.”
Michael Eavis, founder of British summertime festival Glastonbury, has said that “massive testing arrangements” could be put in place at next year’s festival. These comments echoed of those made recently by Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn. Melvin told reporters that he was confident that they do not need the vaccination in place, to go ahead with the festivals.
“We don’t need a vaccination because we can work through the problem with a really good testing regime”.
Maybe these are early signs of light at the end of the tunnel and that we are almost through this awful pandemic. Hopefully, we can get to see some live events again, soon.