Live Nation will test the first concert since the COVID-19 outbreak with Travis McCready in Arkansas on May 15.
The event at TempleLive in Fort Smith will have a reduced capacity with only 229 tickets sold for 1,100 seat venue.
Everyone who attends the show will be required to wear a facemask and if they do not bring one will have to purchase one at the venue. All people will have their temperature taken when they arrive, bathrooms will have a 10-person limit and food and drink will be pre-packaged.
The test run by Live Nation gives the music industry a sample of what concerts in the short term may look like. However, from a business perspective the long-term ramifications would make it financially difficult for venues to operate at a profit with these numbers.
Tickets to the McCready concert are $20. With 229 tickets on sale that means maximum revenues of just $4580. Just staffing an event like this would soak up any chance of a profit. Then there’s power costs and what the artist will be paid.
The positive is it’s a start. Sustainable, probably not … but the model can be adjusted.
There are no current plans in Australia for how this would work. With social distancing measures in place for the unknown future, the music industry is none the wiser when it can plan live events. The answer to when that will happen may be guided by the government allowing churches to reopen and how that is modelled. Sport will also operate ahead of music. The music industry will be able to model its reopening on what happens with both Sport and religious gatherings.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas model may be our first indication as to what the rest of 2020 will look like.