By Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone | Concert and ticketing giant Live Nation Entertainment saw a 25% drop in concert revenue and 16% drop in ticketing revenue in Q1 2020

With concerts on hold for the past two months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Live Nation Entertainment on Thursday reported a 21% drop in revenue for its first quarter, with concert revenue alone dipping 25% and ticket revenue dropping 16% year over year. Shares of Live Nation — which also owns ticketing company Ticketmaster — have dropped about 48% since the middle of February.

While the concert giant fell into controversy recently over its refund policy amid the pandemic, later instituting a Ticket Relief Plan to allow fans to get refunds if a rescheduled show hasn’t gotten a new date within 60 days of its postponing, Live Nation says that 90% of ticket buyers are choosing to keep their tickets and wait for a new show rather than get their money back.

On Live Nation’s investor earnings call, President and CEO Michael Rapino said the company would test crowdless broadcasted shows along with drive-in concerts and reduced capacity festival shows over the summer. “Whether it’s in Arkansas or a state that is safe, secure and politically is fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fanless concerts with broadcasts, we’re going to go and do reduced capacity shows because we can make the math work,” Rapino said. “There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do 10 higher end smaller theaters or clubs. We’re seeing lots of artists chomping to get back out once it’s safe.”

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[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]

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