The long-lasting effects of the global pandemic, covid-19, are still too far away to be seen clearly; but we’re already seeing major effects on the global entertainment industry as hundreds of shows and events are cancelled or postponed and artists are forced to cancel tours.
Live Nation, one of the country’s largest concert promoters, is feeling the pinch particularly hard, as Billboard reports shares of Live Nation fell 16.6 percent on Wednesday, representing a single-day loss of more than $1.8 billion in stock market valuation. Of course it’s easy to think of LN as this behemoth of a company and surmise, “Well, so what? I hate their fees.” The reality is that many lower-level and longtime employees will lose their jobs over this, employees who have families and mortgages and debt.
Shares for Live Nation have fallen by more than 43% over the past month, reaching a low of $42.01 at closing time yesterday.
CEO of Live Nation Michael Rapino was downplaying coronavirus concerns, while pointing to a temporary disruption. “Most of our business doesn’t start until the middle of June onwards,” Rapino stated. “So the next few months, we’ll have some cancellations, I assume, here and there in some arenas and clubs, but the heart of our business happens this summer.” However, concert promotion isn’t just something that clubs can put down and pick up when it’s convenient, and often don’t have the funds lined up to continue paying for real estate and staff while they wait for shows to start again.
“This is a unique time,” Rapino told the New York Times. “Everyone has to figure out how the show goes on, and how it goes on smartly and safely.”
Right now, there isn’t a clear answer.
In order to prevent the spread of this coronavirus, wash your hands vigorously with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid large gatherings as much as possible, and avoid visiting elderly loved ones unless absolutely necessary.