Live Nation attracts record 19.5m attendees during bumper Q1

Live Nation saw a record 19.5 million attend its events and revenues up by more than 70% during a strong start to 2023.

In a trading update for the three months to March 31, 2023, Ticketmaster’s owner said revenue hit $3.1bn, which was up 73% year-on-year.

Central to that growth was an 89% uptick in its Concerts division, which generated $2.3bn during the quarter. Ticketing accounted for $677.7m, which was up 41%, with Sponsorship & Advertising growing by 47% to $170.1m.

Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s chief executive, said: “2023 is off to a tremendous start. For the first time in three years, all of our markets are fully open. The common theme we are seeing around the world is that live experiences are a high priority for fans.

“What is clear as we look at our results and operating metrics is that global demand for live events continues to reach new heights – demand has been growing for a long time and is showing no signs of letting up. Talking to fans, they say that live experiences are the number one leisure category where they expect to spend more in the future. Naturally, this is leading to record levels of activity in both our concerts and ticketing businesses.”

Live Nation announced adjusted operating income of $319.7m, which was up 53% year-on-year.

The group put on around 9,630 events during the period, with two thirds of those in North America. This was up by around a half on 2022 figures.

The total estimated fans attending Live Nation shows was 19.5 million, which was almost double the 10.8 million from Q1 2022. The jump was attributed to a huge leap in International attendees, which trebled from 4.0 million to 11.9 million after Live Nation expanded into new markets and welcomed back fans in countries that still had Covid restrictions last year. The North American attendees figure was up slightly from 6.8 million to 7.6 million.

In Ticketing, the group sold an estimated 145.8 million primary and secondary tickets during the period, which was up 30% year-on-year.

Rapino added: “Our ticketing business benefits from the same structural tailwinds as concerts, with further growth driven by our success in adding new clients, notably in international markets. As a result, we sold 73 million fee-bearing tickets in the first quarter, up 40% and delivered $7.7bn in fee-bearing gross transaction value, up 60% vs first quarter 2022.

“We are seeing growth in both volume and pricing across our global markets. This holds true across all event types from concerts to sports; and from the biggest superstars to new artists.

“Our results for the first quarter demonstrate the success of our strategy and sets us up for strong growth in 2023.  We expect to host a record number of fans this year, even against a 2022 comparison which benefited from rescheduled shows attended by 20 million fans.  Ticketmaster should also deliver record activity, with around 600 million tickets managed globally this year.  Our sponsorship business, even after incredible growth last year, looks to be on track for double-digit AOI growth again this year.”

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