Conversation around Live Nation grows as Coronavirus threatens festival season
The spring-summer stretch that is festival season comes every year when we need it most. After months of staying in and avoiding the cold, we welcome the busy crowds and sunburns. But this year, our isolation will be extended. The Coronavirus outbreak has already caused several festival and concert cancellations, including Coachella, South By Southwest, Ultra, and Tomorrowland. Independent event promoters will suffer the brunt of the epidemic, but major companies aren’t immune.
Since Friday, stock for America’s largest concert promoter and venue operator Live Nation ($NYSE:LYV) dropped approximately 11%, from $52.99 per share to $47.26. This is down 35% from last month when shares were trading at $72.89. Not many people were talking about Live Nation at the beginning of 2020, but falling stock and rising Coronavirus panic are sparking conversations around the company.
Live Nation’s Facebook mentions peaked at 399,000 in mid-February, up 89% from January. Later in the month, that number dropped 52% to 193,000, but it has since increased to 300,000 in time with recent event cancellations.
Of course, this kind of rising engagement isn't always good for a brand. In this case, many people are airing their frustration with Live Nation, lamenting canceled shows and reschedulings.
"Live Nation - Your excellent at posting upcoming concerts, so how about start notifying of canceled concerts," one Facebook user wrote on the Live Nation page. "We shouldn't have to be googling Artists, Venue's, CMT. to find out if upcoming concerts are canceled. Come on - do something!"
Another user echoed, "Anyone who bought tickets to the Jhene Aiko #TheMagicHourTour having trouble with their tickets saying your tickets have been canceled?"
Live Nation has yet to publicly address these concerns, focusing instead on downplaying Coronavirus' impact on business. “We expect there will be further areas of breakouts, we have seen no pullback in fan demand outside of the affected areas,” Live Nation President Joe Berchtold said during last month’s earnings call. “Outdoor shows are less susceptible, but it’s a risk for anybody.”
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