LN’s Unbelievable Expansion

UK newspaper stories saying Live Nation is to “start staging gigs at more than 1,000 new venues across Europe” appear to be the result of someone getting their numbers muddled up.

The figures from normally reliable sources such as Financial Times, which reckoned “the group will increase the number of European arenas that show its acts by 29 percent to almost 5,000,” and Daily Telegraph – which said LN will be using “1,000 new venues across Europe” – really don’t stack up.

Although several new arenas have opened in the last three or four years, it’s highly unlikely that Europe now has as many as 5,000 of them.

John Reid, president of concerts at Live Nation Europe, told Pollstar there may have been some confusion about the number of new venues and the number of shows in new venues.

“We’re very pleased about two things,” he said. “The extra shows we’re doing this year and the speed at which we’re selling tickets.”

Although LN no longer has the contract to stage shows in London’s Hyde Park, shifting the major events it used to stage in the flagship venue to the Olympic Stadium doesn’t appear to be having a detrimental effect.

The 100,000 tickets for its Wireless Festival July 12-13, which has Justin TimberlakeJay ZSnoop Dogg and Emeli Sandé among others, were snapped up within a day of going on sale.

The Telegraph also reported LN staged about 22,000 gigs and festivals in 2012, attracting 16.75 million visitors and that operating profits were up 4.8 percent. That helped to fuel a 4.8 percent increase in operating profits to $459 million.

See also: Live Nation’s 4Q Earnings