Rapino says 2011 looks like it will bring a "great lineup of artists on the road. So the year will not be about show count-it will be about the fan and did we all make some changes to drive that 10% back to the shows."
Paradigm's Hooper says he's not yet sure how 2011 will shape up. "That story is yet to be written," he says. "We just all have to [plan] each move very carefully and thoughtfully with every specific band as to whether to tour or not to tour, and if you do tour, how to price it ticket-wise. It would be foolish not to be cautious after a year like this. And those that are most thoughtful will be the ones that do best."
Phillips believes the economy is coming back and his company is well-positioned for 2011. "I'm not going to change a thing we're doing," he says. "The old saying is, 'There's no bad tours, only bad deals.' We're not in the market-share business; I could care less what our market share is. I care what our bottom line is."
The lessons of 2010 aren't new ones, Geiger points out, and all relate back to knowing fans and addressing their needs.
"The schmuck who comes to five Springsteen shows gets treated like a schmuck on the sixth one," he says. "Until the industry-the artists, the managers, the agents, the promoters, the parking people-figures out that as a baseline, we'll continue to have these issues."
Like the music business at large, the live industry is undergoing a seismic shift. "We can't underestimate that no matter what's going on with Live Nation or AEG or what people want to gossip about, we're in a time of unprecedented change, and the change is the responsibility to the consumer," Geiger says. "The concert industry has a set of challenges in front of them that is all of our responsibility to figure out. If we can meet those challenges and make the business better for the consumer, we'll have a long-term healthy business. We've just got a lot of work to do, and I hope that all the leaders and everybody involved in it thinks about the year-end and how do we do this better so we don't repeat the mistakes."