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Live Nation Reports Biggest-Ever First Quarter With $3.8 Billion, on Track for ‘Record 2024’

It’s become a familiar headline — “Live Nation Reports Record Quarter or Year” — and in the first fourth of 2024, the world’s largest live entertainment company did it again: Compared with the first quarter of last year, revenue was up 21% to $3.8 billion with an operating loss of $37 million; adjusted operating income was up 15% to $367 million; attendance was up 21% to 23 million fans; food and beverage spending at its venues was up 10% in U.S. theaters and clubs; 77 million fee-bearing tickets sold; and sponsorship revenue was up 24%.

“Our Q1 results demonstrate that live events remain a priority for fans around the world,” said president/CEO Michael Rapino. “Global fan demand is stronger than ever, more artists are out on the road, and more venues are being added to bring them together. While operating income will be impacted by one-time accruals, we’re on track to deliver another record year with double-digit AOI growth and years of momentum still to come.”

The news could not have come at a better time, as the company faces increasing scrutiny from the government, as last month the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing to sue Live Nation for antitrust violations as soon as this month. The move that could change the shape of the multibillion-company, which owns Ticketmaster, North America’s biggest ticket vendor. The antitrust lawsuit would claim that the company “has leveraged its dominance in a way that undermined competition for ticketing live events,” according to people familiar with the matter, although specific details about the claims were not available.

Still, Thursday’s earnings report the announcement has an overwhelming series of impressive statistics: concert ticket sales for overall arena and amphitheater shows were up double-digits; more than 85% of full-year shows at large venues are booked, compared to approximately 75% last year; attendance at its shows nearly doubled for international artists across top 50 global tours compared to five years ago; year -to-date ticket sales per show for Latin shows in the U.S. up double-digits over last year; confirmed U.S. shows for Afrobeats artists is up 400% and Latin is up approximately 40%; the company plans to open at least 12 major venues globally in 2024/25, creating capacity for over 8 million additional fans; its Ticketmaster division has sold 112 million fee-bearing tickets sold year-to-date, up 4%.

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