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LN Q2 results: live biz back ‘bigger than ever’

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has declared the live business is back “bigger than ever”, with the company’s Q2 financials showing 2022 ticket sales are outperforming pre-pandemic levels.

LN’s share price had risen 12% in the last month in anticipation of yesterday’s results, and closed at $97.63 last night.

The firm attained its highest quarterly attendance ever, attracting more than 33 million fans across 12,500 events, as revenue soared to $4.4 billion – up 40% on the same period in 2019. In addition, operating income was up 86% to $319 million, while AOI rose 50% to $480m.

“We have sold over 100 million tickets for our concerts this year, more than we sold for the entire year in 2019”

“The second quarter confirmed that live entertainment industry is back globally and bigger than ever,” says Rapino. “Live Nation led this return and continues to deliver the best global network to support artists as they play shows for the fans around the world.

“We have sold over 100 million tickets for our concerts this year, more than we sold for the entire year in 2019.”

Ticketmaster also delivered another record quarter, with AOI up 86% and transacted GTV increasing 76%. The figures account for the three months ending 30 June.

“Ticketing had another very successful quarter, delivering $231 million of AOI, making it the most profitable quarter ever for ticketing, beating the record set just last year in the fourth quarter and nearly doubling the Q2 2019 AOI results of $124m,” says CFO Joe Berchtold. “Our growth came from both primary and secondary ticketing with transacted ticketing GTV up 69% and 141%, respectively.”

Berchtold suggests that indications are pointing towards “a very strong Q3 for concerts”, with more shows and a higher attendance.

“As we prepare for 2023… we are actively routing into all markets with the largest artist pipeline we have ever seen at this point in the year”

Rapino adds that next year is shaping up to be a similarly impressive year.

“As we prepare for 2023, everywhere globally is open for concerts, and we are actively routing into all markets with the largest artist pipeline we have ever seen at this point in the year,” says Rapino. “For the 2023 tours we have put on sale so far, all signs continue pointing to strong fan demand.”

Amid the controversy over “dynamic” ticket prices for Bruce Springsteen’s 2023 tour, where the top priced tickets surpassed $5,000, Rapino reports that market-based pricing is being widely adopted by most tours.

“We expect to shift over 500 million from the secondary market to artists this year, continuing to support those who created the concert and ensuring they are benefiting from it,” he says.

“We work for the artist. Our job is to provide all the tools, platform and services to help them succeed in that tour”

Rapino elaborated further on the issue when speaking to investors during yesterday’s earning call.

“We’ve been saying for a few years that over time, we believe that that secondary [ticketing] $10 billion, $12 billion, depending on what number you see globally, has to start getting captured by the artist at some level,” he said. “It’s just too transparent. The more they see all of the online pricing while they work so hard to put that show on. So… artists are looking at us saying, ‘I’d like to count some of it in the front end. I don’t want to be sold out at 10.01am at $200 to have someone else make $2,000.’

“Fans are not getting a deal anyway, they’re spending $2,000 from somebody else. So I do think they’re looking and saying, ‘the front of the house, can we capture some demand?'”

“We’ve got a global product and we’ve got lots of opportunity to keep growing”

He added: “We work for the artist. We’re a B2B business. Our job is to provide all the tools, platform and services to help them succeed in that tour.

“They’re genius brand managers. They have to balance the needs of their fans, supply, demand and pricing. And some brands, like the Rolling Stones, have been very good at always saying expensive experience and we’re that proud and enable to deliver that brand position. But I think artists are always trying to find a fine line on how do I make the show accessible? How do I make sure all my fans can show? How do I price it fairly versus how much money can I make? So I think they see that.

“Today, while the technology is advancing and they’re starting to look at more technology and more pricing data, I think they can now [price] 1-2% of the house higher and achieve some of those economics versus the scalper, while still pricing 98% of the house at a very stable brand position. So we can achieve both.”

Rapino also addressed the company’s global strategy in the wake of recent moves in Thailand and the Philippines.

“We look at Asia as really undeveloped territory, low market share, huge opportunity,” he said. “Like everyone else in the world, we look at Asia, we look at Latin America, and we’re looking to the Middle East and Eastern Europe as areas where we have no real market share. But that consumer now on TikTok knows that Drake dropped the video last night, whether they live in Singapore, India, Cape Town. So we’ve got a global product, and we’ve got lots of opportunity to keep growing.”

 


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Michael Rapino: ‘We’re headed for a record year’

Live Nation boss Michael Rapino says the promoter remains on track for back-to-back record years.

Fresh from inking a five-year contract extension with LN running to 2027, Rapino told CNBC’s Power Lunch the company was not seeing any “recessionary trends” regarding ticket sales.

“We’re not, we’ve had such pent-up demand, in Europe, America, Australia and we’re headed for a record year right now, as of this weekend,” he said. “I checked all our latest data: people are showing up – 90% rates – our ticket sales are double digits over 2019.

“One factor we like to see is what are they spending on site, and those are up 25% since 2019, which was a record year. We’re seeing record levels… [fans] are coming to have fun and drink and enjoy the night.”

The LN president and CEO added that the forecast for next year was equally as encouraging.

“We’re looking at 2023 right now, with about 85 tours booked, and that would put us on [course for] another record 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 be back to a continual growth business as we have for the last 30 years.”

“A concert ticket is still really affordable – the average ticket price is $35”

Rapino also defended the promoting giant – whose Ticketmaster division’s sales were up 36% on the same period in 2019 in Q1 2022 – against claims of high ticket prices.

“The top end ticket always gets the press, but a concert ticket is still really affordable – the average ticket price is $35,” he said. “You can’t have a dinner for that, you certainly can’t go to a Lakers [NBA] game. So of all entertainment options, it’s affordable.

“Now, ticket prices at the top that have gone up. But that’s to make sure that the artist starts to participate in some of that pricing dynamic versus the secondary market. You look today and the market is still hot on the secondary business, which would indicate pricing still is below market. But we still believe that the artist should gather more of the upfront costs. We also think making it affordable is right.”

Rapino has served as CEO of Live Nation since its formation 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 newly formed Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, when Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster.

 


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Michael Rapino re-ups with Live Nation

Live Nation CEO and president Michael Rapino has signed a new five-year contract extension with the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, while Rapino’s base salary will remain at $3 million, 90% of his annual compensation will be performance-related. In addition, he will receive a $6m signing bonus and his annual cash performance bonus has a target amount of $17m, according to the filing.

From 2023, Rapino will also be entitled to receive an annual performance-based grant of restricted shares of company common stock with an annual target value of no less than $10m, “based on the attainment of qualitative performance targets to be established by the Compensation Committee”, it adds.

Rapino has served as CEO of Live Nation since its formation 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 newly formed Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, when Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster.

LN delivered its best Q1 performance ever earlier this year

Earlier this year, LN delivered its best Q1 performance ever, posting revenue of $1.8 billion. The promoter recorded operating income of $27 million and AOI of $209m for the first three months of the year, while its Ticketmaster division posted another record quarter.

Ticketmaster reported sales of 70 million tickets for its 2022 concerts – up 36% compared to the same point in 2019, and Rapino said all leading indicators pointed towards double-digit growth and fan attendance for LN over the course of the year.

News of Rapino’s deal follows the company’s strategic acquisition of the concerts and entertainment division of Thailand-based TERO Entertainment (TERO C&E).

LN’s share price stood at $83.35 before the opening of the markets today.

 


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Michael Rapino: ‘This is a global demand business’

Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino has spoken of international growth opportunities for the business in a new interview.

Rapino appeared on the Live from the Compound podcast in conversation with Josh Brown and Michael Batnick of Ritholtz Wealth Management.

In a wide-ranging chat, Rapino suggested there was no substitute for touring when it comes to building a fanbase.

“You can be a one-hit wonder and have great streams. But if you can sell out that arena… that’s where you build fans,” he said. “If you can fill venues, then you’re going to have a long career and that machine is going to work for you in many ways.

“For 50 years, this was a US/Western Europe business. The minute the internet unlocked, the game changed”

“Artists need to get on the road. But I think the part that gets overlooked is that it’s a global demand business. For 50 years, this was a US/Western Europe business. The minute the internet unlocked, the game changed. Now that 19-year-old in Colombia, Cape Town, knows that Tyler [the Creator] dropped an album last night, there are no gatekeepers telling them about that. So we look at this incredible global opportunity.

“As big as we look like we are, we’re still only 30% of the global market share. We’ve just started in Latin America, with Ocesa and Rock in Rio. We have minimum market share in Asia. Eastern Europe is growing. We think Africa has some great potential and we’re talking a lot about that. We just did our first Middle East tour with Maroon 5 and sold everything out instantly, so it’s a global business. And like any global platform, we have a great advantage on a global basis.”

Rapino described the company’s multiple global bases as its “special sauce”, adding: “We think most of the growth for the next 10 years will be international. There are 100 cities that all want to be New York and they all want Drake, Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones to play there. So we look at this as a global growth business that is going to grow organically, we think, on a 10% basis a year. A market leader like us is probably going to ride that wave on a global basis for continued double digit growth.”

“We were headed for a monster year and then boom, the music stops”

He also recalled his response at the start of the Covid shutdown in March 2020.

“We were headed for a monster year and then boom, the music stops,” he said. “You were the captain on the Titanic in the sense that you had no idea when and how this was going to play out – whether it was two months, six months or a year. But you had to get on those global employee calls and make everyone feel fairly confident that things were going to be okay.

“We thought 75% of people were going to refund their tickets… But the gift that we got by the first earnings – and why our stock then did the take off – was that at that point, 94% of people were holding onto their tickets.”

“We’re about the only product out there that is worth more the second it’s sold”

The subject later turned to ticket prices and the industry’s reputation for being “recession-proof” given the state of the economy.

“Historically, over 30 years, [the live business] has been fairly recession-proof. In 2010, let’s call it the worst time for the industry, ticket sales were down 10%,” said Rapino. “And then the year after it was a record year, so it’s not really had a big effect. Now, I’d say there are a few factors to think about: One is, we are still dramatically underpriced and that’s part of why we think we have a great growth story. There is a $12 billion secondary business that exists… We’re about the only product out there that is worth more the second it’s sold. So we still think there is a great opportunity in pricing.

“Then two, people write about the big headline prices. But compared to going to an NBA, NHL or NFL game, this is very affordable opportunity. What we’ve typically seen in a recession is you might not go to Disneyland, you might not buy that dishwasher, but you’re going to go to Keith Urban at the amphitheatre. It’s still a really affordable, but high value escape.”

 


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Live Nation hails biggest Q1 in company history

Live Nation boss Michael Rapino says the company’s Q1 business “greatly surpassed” expectations after delivering its best Q1 performance ever.

The promoter recorded operating income of $27 million and AOI of $209m for the first three months of the year, while its Ticketmaster division posted another record quarter, with big growth in operating revenue, AOI and transacted GTV compared with the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Sponsorship operating income and AOI were also up 83% and 75%, respectively, on three years ago.

“Artists are back on the road and fan demand has never been stronger”

“Momentum has picked up for all of our businesses over the course of the first quarter,” Rapino told investors during yesterday’s earnings call. “And as a result, we have delivered financial performance that greatly surpassed our previous expectations with AOI of $209 million.

“Artists are back on the road and fan demand has never been stronger. The reflection of live events remain a clear priority for consumers as our social lives restart.”

Ticketmaster reported sales of 70 million tickets for its 2022 concerts – up 36% compared to the same point in 2019, and Rapino said all leading indicators pointed towards double-digit growth and fan attendance for LN over the course of the year.

“Ticket sales were at record levels in Q1 with momentum building over February and March,” he said. “We sold almost 20 million more tickets to our concerts this year in this point in time in 2019, with large number of tours still to go on sale and concert fans are showing no sign of slowing down.

“Ticket buying serves as a leading indicator to our overall business. Ticketmaster’s strong first quarter performance drove the company’s overall profitability and shows how well our concert and sponsorship businesses are positioned to deliver record results this year.

“Despite some markets taking longer to reopen, the quarter was our second highest ever we transacted GTV, excluding refunds, trailing only Q4 2021 with March being our highest transacted GTV month ever.”

He added: “Our sponsorship activity fully returned in Q1, delivering financial results that well exceeded 2019. We’re seeing growth across a number of dimensions, expansion of existing relationships, new categories expanding our breadth to partners and new ad units being created both onsite and online.”

“We continue to build our flywheel with over 70 million tickets now sold for shows in 2022”

Rapino also referenced the firm’s partnerships with brands such as Verizon and Snap.

“Much of our focus with brand partners is how we collectively elevate the fan experience. We’ve had great success with this in recent years. And so far this year through our partnership with Verizon, we started powering our Venues with cutting edge 5G connectivity and are launching initiative with Snap to give artists augmented reality capabilities at shows and festivals.

“But more importantly, we continue to build our flywheel with over 70 million tickets now sold for shows in 2022, up to 36 million, compared to 2019 and committed show count is up 44% through the end of April, relative to 19%, setting us up for continued ticket sales over the year.

“We have over 60 tours already under discussion for 2023, our earliest indicators of next year in great positioning for ongoing growth.”

I continue to expect this just to be the start of our run”

Rapino said the no-show rate at gigs – a common complaint the first few months after the restart – had returned to normal levels.

“We’re seeing no challenges at all,” he said. “People are showing up to the shows. We are showing similar to 2018, ’19, your regular low digit no-show rate of people that don’t make it to the show. But back to normal, people come and drum to those shows no issues at all in terms of showing up.”

He added that while the US and UK had driven much of the company’s activity over the past year, the rest of the world was now rapidly opening up.

“Both Latin America and Western Europe are expected to have record attendance for our concerts this year,” he concluded. “I continue to expect this just to be the start of our run, the global addressable markets for concerts, ticketing and sponsorship, all provide a long runway for continued growth.”

 


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Michael Rapino discusses LN-Verizon 5G partnership

Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino has given the lowdown on the company’s “groundbreaking” 5G technology and ticket presale partnership with Verizon.

The multi-year deal will see LN work with Verizon to to create “immersive in-person and virtual experiences”, in addition to launching a new “First Access” ticket presale programme – exclusively for members of the Verizon Up customer loyalty scheme – for in-demand live tours including The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons and Rosalía.

Verizon will continue to deploy 5G Ultra Wideband in Live Nation clubs, theatres and amphitheatres across the US, enabling concert-goers to stream, share photos and videos, and download content at speeds up to 10x faster than 4G.

Speaking to CNBC’s Techcheck, Rapino said: “Hans [Vestberg, Verizon chief] and I’ve been talking for over a year now about the ways we can use his great new technology 5G to finally empower all of our venues and shows.

“When you go to a concert, it’s 50/50 whether you can find reception, whether you can post a picture, whether you can phone your friends. So the idea now is that all of our venues will be lit up with this very efficient 5G; it’s going to make it so much better for the fan.

“We can now start figuring out ways we can engage with that customer on site from upgrades to special merchandise to special access.”

Verizon and Live Nation are also working together to provide exclusive access to select artists’ live streaming concerts through Veeps streaming platform as part of +play, a new platform exclusive to Verizon customers, launching later this year.

“The pent-up demand is so big right now for the customers this summer”

“We kind of look at our fan as the promoter,” said Rapino. “The great part about the concert business is it’s a Kodak moment. Everyone has to post that moment when they’re there. If you’re on the first Harry Styles concert in New York and 20,000 people are posting and reposting and I’ve still got 70, 80 shows to sell throughout the world, that momentum every night of Instagram, social, TikTok – all the ways those fans help spread the word – is incredibly valuable marketing to us.

“The physical event is the magic, right? The two hours that you’re at [Madison Square Garden] to watch a show, that’s the non-duplicatable part. Any way that we can take those two hours and help market it, enhance it, complement it, we think that’s great for our business and our fans and for the artist.”

Rapino added that concert tickets were “flying out of the door” as the promoter remains on track for a record 2022, despite global concerns over the Ukraine war and rising inflation. Live Nation publicly pledged not to do business with Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Obviously what’s happening in Ukraine is horrible and we’re doing everything we can to support and see how this plays out,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of shows in that area so that hasn’t really affected our business. Europe seems to be business as usual right now for the summer so we haven’t seen any disruption in our core business around the world in terms of touring.”

Rapino also said that he’s yet to see inflation bite, and that the 24-month shutdown of the business means that “the pent-up demand is so big right now… We’re still tracking 30% plus up year-over-year, we’re seeing consumers buying tickets on sale this weekend. We had sold-out festivals this weekend.”

He added: “I do believe that the pent-up demand over the last two years is going to power through any short term inflation issues. Tickets seem to be flying out of the door both from the front seat to the back. So we’re looking still for a record ’22 across the globe.”

 


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Rapino predicts ‘strongest multi-year period ever’

Live Nation’s share price is on the rise in the wake of the company’s latest quarterly report, with 45 million tickets already sold for its 2022 shows.

The results covered both Q4 last year and 2021 as a whole, when revenue hit $2.7 billion and $6.27bn respectively, compared to $237.3 million and $1.86bn for the same periods in the Covid-ravaged 2020.

The stockmarket reacted positively to the numbers, with shares jumping more than 7% to $125.28, although just short of the all-time high of $127.50 reached after the promoter’s Q3 2021 figures were released last November, before settling at $120.44 at close of play.

“Over the course of 2021, we saw the strength of live events,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told investors. “The year started in the midst of the pandemic, but by summer fans were returning to shows, and by the end of the year, we had a record pipeline of concerts, ticket sales and advertising commitments for 2022.

“Restarting our concerts business in the second half of the year, we put over 17,000 concerts for 35 million fans in 2021, mainly in the US and UK markets. In the final five months of the year, in the US and UK, we had over 15 million fans attend our outdoor events: festivals, stadiums, and amphitheatres, nearly 25% higher than during the same period in 2019.”

“I believe this is just the start of what will be the strongest multi-year period ever for the concert industry”

He added: “The two-year wait for artists and fans is over. Never have the tailwinds to our business been so strong, and I believe this is just the start of what will be the strongest multi-year period ever for the concert industry.”

Focusing on 2022, ticket sales are up 45% on 2019 levels, with the concert giant citing last year’s acquisition of Latin American power player Ocesa Entretenimiento as a key factor in the accelerated growth. LN reported that eight artists have already sold in excess of 500,000 tickets for their tours this year, including Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish. Ticketing revenue came to $487.7m for Q4 and $1.13bn for the year in its entirety.

“Our ticketing business had the dual benefit of strong ticket sales for events in 2021, while also being the first of our businesses to benefit from our 2022 pipeline,” said Rapino. “Ticket sales were at a record pace across every metric with October, November and December being our top three months ever for ticketing gross transaction value, excluding refunded tickets. And the fourth quarter and second half of the year also set records for a quarter and six-month periods.”

“We have a lot of confidence that 2023 and beyond look very good”

Rapino and LN president/chief financial officer Joe Berchtold also weighed in on the higher than usual no-show rates at concerts since the restart, with both suggesting the issue had been overstated.

“I think there’s been a lot of reporting by anecdote out there, as opposed to reporting by collective facts. And I don’t think our experience is any different than the industry is, as a total,” he said. “First of all, arenas in 2019, if you look at the number of people that showed up for a concert versus the number of people that bought tickets, it ran at 93% in 2019. That number thus far, in 2022, over the past six weeks is running at 91%. So not materially different from the 93% for the total of 2019.

“For our theatres and clubs, the smaller shows, you tend to have a slightly higher no-show rate. And that number was 87% in 2019. It’s running at 83% in 2022. So I think if you first of all recognise that there were a number of shows that have taken place over the past few months that were rescheduled, and when shows get rescheduled, people will naturally forget about the show or have a conflict different than what they originally had, it’s probable that accounts for all or almost all of that difference in the attendance level.”

Commenting on media reports, Rapino said: “I think they were saying as 15%, 20% weren’t showing, but again, they weren’t taking into account that on a normal year, 7%, 8% of people don’t show up to shows, so you’re already starting at that level.”

Berchtold also gave an insight into the intense level of activity expected next year, adding that plans were well ahead of where they would be at a similar stage, pre-pandemic.

“Right now, I have in front of me a list of 40 some tours for 2023 that are either confirmed or in our pipeline,” he said. “Normally, at this point, a year from earlier, we’d have a list of five to 10. So yes, we have a lot of confidence that 2023 and beyond look very good because there is a lot of pent-up supply, there is a lot of pent-up demand, and we expect it’s a multi-year run.”

 


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Congress demands answers over Astroworld tragedy

The US Congress has written to Live Nation to demand answers over the Astroworld tragedy.

Ten people, aged between nine and 27, died and hundreds of others were injured following a crowd crush during Travis Scott’s headline set at NRG Park in Houston, Texas.

In an open letter addressed to Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino, the committee on oversight and reform have requested information “regarding the roles and responsibilities for Astroworld Festival, security planning for the event, and the steps Live Nation Entertainment took after being made aware that law enforcement had declared the event a ‘mass casualty event'”.

We are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies

“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” reads the letter, signed by members of the committee.

“For instance, reports indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries. Some attendees stated that the placement of barricades made it difficult to escape. Experts have stated that Astroworld Festival organisers failed to heed warning signs.”

The letter adds the tragedy follows “a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation”,  stating the promoter has been “fined or sued numerous times over safety issues at previous events, including other incidents involving surging fans or stampedes”.

Members add: “We are deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies.”

The committee has asked Live Nation to respond by 7 January 2022.

Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary deny all allegations against them relating to the 5 November disaster.

 


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Live Nation completes Ocesa acquisition

Live Nation yesterday (6 December) announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of Ocesa Entretenimiento, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

The US$444 million deal gives the world’s largest live entertainment company, Live Nation, a 51% stake in one of its largest competitors, which dominates the Latin American market.

The deal comprises a 40% stake in Ocesa, which Live Nation acquired from Grupo Televisa, and an 11% share from Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento’s (CIE).

Live Nation will hold back 7% of the closing price to cover any potential operating losses for several quarters.

The entertainment giant originally agreed to buy 51% of Ocesa for over $400m in summer 2019 but pulled out of the deal in May last year, before resuming the acquisition in September.

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome Ocesa into Live Nation,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome Ocesa into Live Nation”

“Alex and the Ocesa team are incredible at what they do and together we look forward to creating even more amazing live experiences across Mexico and Latin America.”

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, chairman of the board and COO of CIE, added: “This strategic agreement extends the already successful relationship we have with Live Nation and we are very proud to take it to the next level.

“We are very excited to finally join forces with Michael and his team. Together with the world leader, we will continue to add value and growth to the business, bringing the best entertainment to Mexico and Latin America.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture. Rapino will become chairman of the venture’s board of directors.

Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events for nearly six million fans annually across Mexico and Colombia and has a robust business portfolio in ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation – including 13 premier venues across Mexico with a collective capacity of nearly 250,000 seats.

Ocesa’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico, is a leading ticket company in Mexico.

 


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Live Nation initiates Astroworld health fund

Live Nation and subsidiary Scoremore have announced they are setting up a health fund to cover the medical expenses of Astroworld Festival attendees.

In a social media post, the companies provided an update on the steps taken since the 5 November tragedy at NRG Park in Houston, Texas, in which eight people died and hundreds were injured. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed by Astroworld attendees in relation to the Travis Scott-headlined event.

“Throughout the weekend, we have been working to provide local authorities with everything they need from us in order to complete their investigation and get everyone the answers they are looking for,” says the statement.

“Our staff has met with local authorities to provide information, and we have also provided them with all the footage from our CCTV cameras. Load out of the site and equipment is currently paused to give investigators the time they requested to walk and document the grounds. Full refunds are being offered for all those who purchased tickets.

“And most importantly we are working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims and staff, from providing mental health counselling to setting up a health fund to help with costs for medical expenses. Our entire team is mourning alongside the community.”

Many families are dealing with the unimaginable right now and my heart goes out to them

Live Nation chairman and CEO Michael Rapino has also paid tribute to the victims on Twitter.

“Many families are dealing with the unimaginable right now and my heart goes out to them and the entire Astroworld community,” he wrote. “We are dedicated to doing everything we can to get the families and fans the answers and support they deserve.”

Live Nation acquired a majority stake in Austin-based Scoremore Shows, the largest promoter in Texas, in 2018. Scoremore was co-founded in 2010 by Sascha Stone Guttfreund and Claire Bogle.

Meanwhile, Houston police chief Troy Finner has issued an update regarding the ongoing crinimal investigation.

“I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event,” says Fenner in the statement, published on Twitter. “I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation.

“I asked Travis Scott and his team to work with HPD (Houston police department) for all events over the weekend and to be mindful of the team’s social media messaging on any unscheduled events. The meeting was brief and respectful, and a chance for me to share my public safety concerns as chief of police.

“As I have previously stated, our criminal investigation continues. We are asking everyone to be considerate of the grieving families during this incredibly difficult time.”

 


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