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Tales from Covid: Thomas Johansson, Live Nation

Continuing the series of lockdown Q&As with industry leaders, LN's chairman of international music says, post-coronavirus, live music will be more in demand than ever

By IQ on 15 Apr 2020

Live Nation's Thomas Johansson

Live Nation's Thomas Johansson

Ahead of the next issue of the magazine – which features concert business leaders offering their predictions for the industry’s post-coronavirus recovery – IQ is running a series of Q&As online looking at how our panel of experts are weathering the current crisis, as well as their forecasts for the months ahead.

Following the inaugural Tales from Covid with Australian veteran Michael Chugg, Live Nation’s chairman of international music and the Nordics, Thomas Johansson, chats working from home, Crew Nation and why live music will be a “tonic” after months in lockdown…


IQ: What professional lessons have you taken away from the Covid-19 outbreak?
TJ: My key takeaway has been to witness the outstanding dedication and hard work of our staff and promoters, who have responded to this unprecedented situation with flexibility and aplomb.

Live Nation in particular has stepped up with Crew Nation, a global fund to support the live infrastructure and the essential parts of our business who are experiencing a tough time at the moment. It makes me very proud to be a part of Live Nation when we all pull together in times of need.

Also, anyone who said home working doesn’t work was wrong!

“Live music is a major tonic and the whole world needs that”

When do you think the recovery might start, and what shape will it take?
It looks likely that the recovery will follow the pattern of the spread of the virus, with Asia opening up first, and Europe next, hopefully over the summer. Of course, we are planning for the other outcomes, too.

I’ve every faith in our business. It’s resilient and adaptable. I’m pretty sure that demand for live music will be stronger than ever when we get there.

What challenges do you think the industry will face in getting back up to speed?
We’ll need to bear disposable income in mind, of course, but we also need to remember that live music is a major tonic and the whole world needs that.

I have immense faith in our fans.


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