Live Nation Entertainment has begun a second round of companywide furloughs through its U.S. venues and Ticketmaster North America divisions. The cuts affects hundreds of staff members as the concert business continues to grapple with the human costs of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019, Live Nation generated $11.6 billion in revenue, but the publicly-traded company is now less than a month away from beginning its third quarter with virtually no revenue and a $185 million in monthly expenses. The touring giant pulled its tours from the road on March 13 and has since only dabbled in pandemic-safe productions, such as drive-in concerts. While Billboard doesn’t have an exact number, sources estimate that hundreds of employees have been affected by the latest round of cost reductions, which were first reported by Pollstar.
The reductions included deep cuts to some of Live Nation’s regional offices like Cleveland and Detroit, while offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles were also affected.
“It’s brutal,” said one agent as the news trickled across social media. A company spokesperson acknowledged the furloughs took place, but was unable to comment further. In April the company furloughed and laid off hundreds of employees as a result of the pandemic, followed a series of cuts in May that affected 2,100 of its 10,500 employees across multiple divisions at the company to reduce costs by $600 million.
Live entertainment companies including AEG, Paradigm, the Agency for the Performing Arts, Stubhub, CAA and WME have all had to make staffing cuts and job reductions as a result of the pandemic.
Venues have been particularly hard hit — for Live Nation, the Fillmore in San Francisco and the House of Blues in Anaheim saw more than 325 full-time and part-time employees furloughed or laid off, according to the California Employment Development Department, while 71 positions were affected at the Observatory in Santa Ana and the Wiltern in L.A. shed nearly 700 positions.