Michael Rapino: ‘We are heading for a record year’


Live Nation boss Michael Rapino said the promoter remains on track for consecutive record years.

After signing a five-year contract extension with LN until 2027, Rapino said CNBC’s Power Lunch the company saw no “recessionary trend” regarding ticket sales.

“We’re not, we’ve had such pent-up demand, in Europe, America, Australia and we’re heading into a record year right now, starting this weekend,” he said. . “I checked all our latest data: people show up – 90% rate – our ticket sales are in double digits in 2019.

“One factor we like to see is what they spend onsite, and that’s up 25% since 2019, which was a record year. We are recording record levels… [fans] come to have fun, drink and enjoy the night.

The LN President and CEO added that the outlook for next year was equally encouraging.

“We’re looking at 2023 right now, with around 85 tours booked, and that would put us on [course for] another banner year,” he said. “Overall, historically, concerts are an 8-9% growth business and we think that’s going to continue. So we don’t think there’s an air pocket, we think we’re going to get back to a continuously growing business like we’ve been doing for the last 30 years.

“A concert ticket is always very affordable – the average ticket price is $35”

Rapino also defended the promotion giant – whose Ticketmaster division sales rose 36% from the same period in 2019 to the first quarter of 2022 – against allegations of high ticket prices.

“The premium ticket always attracts the press, but a concert ticket is still very affordable – the average ticket price is $35,” he said. “You can’t dine for that, you sure can’t go to a Lakers [NBA] Game. So of all the entertainment options, this is affordable.

“Now the ticket prices at the top that have gone up. But that’s to make sure the artist starts participating in some of that pricing dynamic versus the secondary market. You are looking today and the market is still hot in the secondary market, which would indicate that prices are still below market. But we still think the artist should collect more of the initial costs. We also think it’s fair to make it affordable.

Rapino has been CEO of Live Nation since its inception in 2005, when it was spun off (initially as CCE SpinCo, Inc.) from Clear Channel, where he was president of global music. He became president and CEO of the new Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, when Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster.

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