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Live Nation and AEG Suspend Concert Tours Through at Least March

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In light of the coronavirus pandemic, promoters Live Nation and AEG are suspending all concert tours through at least the end of March.

Under polices announced on Thursday, AEG and Live Nation will suspend previously scheduled events beginning this weekend through the end of March. This action came during a week that has seen the sports and entertainment industries respond to coronavirus, or COVID-19, with several sports leagues suspending or delaying their seasons, some studios delaying releases for upcoming films, and Broadway theaters going dark at 5:00 p.m. EST Thursday in light of an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo prohibiting gatherings of more than 500 people in New York City.

Postponements were also announced Thursday for the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, both of which were slated for April but have been delayed until October. The suspension of tours by Live Nation and AEG comes with the calendar still a few months from the launch of the peak concert season, which typically begins in June. More from the Los Angeles Times:

On Tuesday, AEG, which partners with promoter Goldenvoice, announced the postponement until October of both the Coachella festival, which plays out across six days over two weekends in April in front of 125,000 fans per weekend, and its smaller sibling event Stagecoach, the largest country music festival in the world, which draws 80,000 for each of its three days.

Earlier this month, Live Nation Entertainment President Joe Berchtold reminded investors during a conference call that about 70% of the company’s business is generated from June and beyond.

“So, depending on what you read today,” Berchtold said, “it gives us some comfort that we’ve got a little time to play out.”

Stephen Glagola, vice president of equity research at Cowen & Co., said while “the near-term impact could be quite severe” to Live Nation, investors have overreacted to negative macro developments in the past that have impacted the business very little.

As noted, we have not reached the peak time for touring yet, and the suspensions announced Thursday run through the end of this month. Still, this is a development that should be watched closely, because the longer the coronavirus pandemic impacts the concert business the more effect it will have on the arena industry.

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