After being paused by the pandemic, live shows are poised to pump up the volume

·3-min read
According to Live Nation Entertainment, an unprecedented number of artists will be taking to the stage in 2022.

Music industry professionals are pondering the future of live shows in the "post-covid world." Although caution is evidently necessary, Live Nation Entertainment envisages that the sector will get back to normal in 2022. In fact, the American giant has apparently scheduled twice as many concerts and tours for next year as in 2019.

Although concerts will be progressively returning to the US and the UK this summer, live shows will really pump up the volume in 2022. Artists like Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd and My Chemical Romance have already announced tours for next year, much to the delight of their fans... and to show producers. Bad Bunny has reportedly already sold over 600,000 ticks for his forthcoming "El Ultimo Tour del Mundo" tour, generating $64 to $88 million, according to Billboard's estimates.

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And that's just the beginning. According to Live Nation Entertainment, an unprecedented number of artists will take to the stage next year, as well as embarking on international tours. "Many of these artists will have multi-year tours, spanning the US, Europe and often either Asia or Latin America, setting us up for a strong multi-year growth run," explains the American firm's CEO, Michael Rapino.

It now remains to be seen how keen fans will be to turn up in the flesh, or whether virtual shows will have replaced "real-world" concerts for good. Live Nation Entertainment remains confident, stating that 64% of music fans plan on attending more events than before. The same goes for those who hung on to tickets for shows cancelled during the pandemic. "Around the world, people are showing the need to get out and socialize once again, which reinforces our expectation that a return to concerts will be the logical progression as vaccines are readily available to everyone who wants to get one," said Michael Rapino.

What about upcoming artists?

But the imminent and major return of concerts and tours is worrying certain emerging artists, who are wondering if they will manage to draw audiences to their shows when faced with so much competition. While competition in the business is nothing new, it takes on a whole new dimension after over a year of pandemic restrictions. In fact, musicians and singer-songwriters reportedly lost 65% of their revenue last year, according to a UK Music report. And the revenue hit could even be as much as 80% for artists who depend on live gigs and recording studio work.

While some rising talents fear the effects of a particularly busy cultural calendar in 2022, companies like Live Nation Entertainment welcome the news with great relief. In February, the American music industry giant announced losses of $307.2 million for the first quarter in the fiscal year, down from the same period in 2020. Still, the figures can only get better as live shows and tours get back on track.

Caroline Drzewinski