Live Nation to soon test drive-in concerts and reduced-capacity festivals

Live Nation to soon test drive-in concerts and reduced-capacity festivals

Photo by Aranxa Esteve/Unsplash
Words by Tom Parker

The promoting giant is taking a new path.

Global events juggernauts Live Nation have been crippled by the current crisis which has quelled all facets of their business. With shows and tours cancelled across the board, the company is having to be creative and have just announced they’ll be trialling drive-in and fan-less concerts over the next six months, as well as reduced-capacity festival events.

Denmark made headlines when they introduced drive-in concerts last month, the small town of Aarhus welcoming a crowd of cars so long as they were socially distanced. Germany is another country to take an inventive step, masterminding drive-in raves for their thirsty party people.

But now it’s time for the US and potentially Australia to get in on the action. Speaking about the move in a recent call about the company’s first-quarter earnings, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino implied there will be some ambitious steps taken by the promoting giants over the next period.

“So, over the next six months, we’ll be starting slow and small, focusing on the basics and testing regionally,” Rapino said. “But whether it’s in Arkansas or [another] state that is safe, secure, and politically fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fan-less concerts with broadcasts and reduced-capacity shows, because we can make the math work. There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do higher-end theatres or clubs.

“So you’re gonna see us [gradually reopening] in different countries, whether it’s Finland, Asia, Hong Kong – certain markets are farther ahead [in the recovery process],” he continued. “Over the summer there will be testing happening, whether it’s fan-less concerts, which offer great broadcast opportunities and are really important for our sponsorship business; drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out and we’re having some success with; or reduced-capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors in a theatre on a large stadium floor, where there’s enough room to be safe.”

What that means for Australia is still unknown but it’s certainly interesting to see how this idea will evolve.

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