Touring

AEG to Begin Rehiring Furloughed Workers Next Week, Full Staff by Fall

The O2 Arena ?
Courtesy of The O2 Arena 

The O2 Arena

AEG, the world's second largest concert promoter -- and owner of marquee properties like Coachella, Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 Arena in London (where it has a 100-year lease) -- is staffing back up for the return of concerts.

Billboard has learned that AEG has begun bringing back part-time and full-time employees who had been furloughed or saw their hours reduced during the pandemic with the first phase of employees returning April 1.

"During the next six months, as our business ramps up, we will begin bringing all of you back full time at full salary," AEG chief executive Dan Beckerman wrote to employees in a March 22 email obtained by Billboard.

"Because parts of our business continue to face uncertainties before life returns to normal, some of you will come back before others," Beckerman continued. "However, barring any setbacks, we expect everyone will return to work at full pay no later than October 1. In the weeks ahead, you will be contacted by your HR manager as to how these changes will impact you."

The second phase of rehiring involves full time employees who were moved to part time status. Those employees will be returned to full time status starting April 1 with the process expected to be completed by June 1. The third and final tier involves employees that were furloughed during the pandemic and are now expected to return to work full-time in the fall.

AEG confirmed in a statement to Billboard "that the company has distributed an outline for a full reemergence from our Covid-related workforce plan and look forward to welcoming back all affected employees over the coming months.”

Both AEG and its chief competitor, Live Nation, enacted deep layoffs and furloughs during the pandemic as both companies braced themselves for a year without live entertainment and significant revenue reductions. Live Nation has made several rounds of layoffs and furloughs affecting thousands of employees. Approximately 2,300 full-time jobs have been permanently cut, according to the company's annual reports from 2019, where it reported employing 10,500 full-time employees, compared to the end of 2020 when it reported 8,200 full-time employees including those on furlough.

AEG made the majority of its layoffs and furloughs on June 8, following across-the-board salary reductions for employees in April 2020. The company has not provided any figures on how many employees were affected by layoffs and furloughs.

Live Nation has not announced specifics about its rehiring plan, but Live Nation CEO and president Michael Rapino did tell investors on a March investor call that the company plans to begin staffing up as capacity restrictions are lifted on venues owned or leased by Live Nation.

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