After a devastating setback from COVID-19, things are looking up for live music.
Global live music revenues are on track for another year of growth in 2022 and could surpass pre-pandemic revenues by 2023.
Customers at Villages sites are showing up to prove it, according to Fernando Varela, executive director of entertainment company Victory Productions.
“We’ve seen an incredible amount of pent-up requests from customers,” Varela said. “Now that we turn the corner and head into the next chapter, people are once again filling theaters and choosing to experience live entertainment. While virtual broadcasts have served a purpose, nothing can replace a live broadcast.
The industry dependent on packing sites suffered a severe blow when these sites closed. Global live music revenue, which had been on a steady slant, fell from $28.56 billion in 2019 to $7.32 billion in 2020, according to a July 2021 Statista report.
Revenue is expected to increase to $14.15 billion in 2021 and $26 billion in 2022.
Benefit concert promoter Get off the Bus Concerts, which brings artists like Martina McBride, Don McLean and Air Supply to The Villages, resumed its shows in December after a nearly two-year hiatus.
Co-founder Joe Bamford estimates that customers take up between 75 and 85 percent of the seats at his Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center shows, compared to pre-pandemic sales.
“We still fundraise for (charities), but not as much as (we have done in) the past,” Bamford said. “But we are working harder and harder to spread the word and see what we can do.”
Every Get off the Bus show since December has at least generated profits for Lake Cares Food Pantry, One Team One Fight 4 PTSD and other charities.
Concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment saw higher attendance at outdoor events in the US and UK in the second half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.
As of mid-February 2022, Live Nation has sold 45 million tickets to shows this year, leading company officials to predict “a banner year in 2022 that sets us up for growth over the next few years” in its fourth quarter 2021 report.
Global live music revenues are also on track for steady growth through 2025, according to Statista.
Forecasts show revenues of $28.86 billion in 2023, $29.94 billion in 2024, and $30.67 billion in 2025.
This is good news for musicians, most of whom derive 90% of their income from live performances.
Dozens of major artists will start or resume tours this year after a COVID-19 hiatus.
Perfect attendance or not, audiences never tire of artists like Air Supply, Bamford said. The group’s performance on March 27 attracted 900 fans.
“It’s a really good show and the audience at The Villages loved them the last time they came, they absolutely loved them,” Bamford said.
Senior Writer Liz Coughlin can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or [email protected]