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Live Nation’s Rapino continues to downplay coronavirus impact in internal memo

Michael Rapino, president and chief executive of Live Nation, has continued to downplay the impact coronavirus will have on the entertainment giant, despite its share price taking a major nosedive since the pandemic began.

In a memo seen by TheTicketingBusiness, Rapino said the company will be able to make up for lost revenue in the second half of the year, “with 70% of our attendance expected from June through the end of the year.”

Rapino’s memo looks to reassure staff after its share price plummeted and cut its market value in half last week, telling its employees “we have time for things to settle down.”

He added: “We’re incredibly fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as necessary. Artists are eager to get back on the road, and virtually every major tour that needed to shift is already in the process of rescheduling. Our festivals are being nimble as well, with local communities invested in helping them navigate and find back-up dates if needed.”

The internal communication also claimed that Live Nation continues to see “record demand and ticket sales on a global scale,” despite tours being cancelled and the US government only recently declaring a lock down.

Rapino also informed staff of its work from home arrangements and flexible working schedules as needed through the end of the month.

The executive displayed his confidence in the future of Live Nation by purchasing about $1m in LYV stock, according to a March 12 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Rapino bought 25,650 shares, buying low at $38.98. He was joined by Live Nation directors James Kahan (2,000 shares at $42.96) and Michael Rowles (2,650 shares at $37.57).

Last week, it was announced that Live Nation, AEG, CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA have come together to form a task force to address the pandemic and “drive strategic support and unified direction.” The promoters collectively announced that they are suspending tours for the rest of March.

Image: Martin Fisch