Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges: ‘We’ve Entered Uncharted Territory’ With COVID-19

Alex Hodges
Courtesy Nederlander Concerts
– Alex Hodges

Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges says the widespread shutdowns due to the coronavirus have presented a unique situation to the venerable California-based venue operator / promoter and the greater industry. 

“We’ve entered uncharted territory,” says Hodges, an industry veteran who’s been on every side of the concert business going back decades. “This is so unknown in terms of the duration. When looking at disasters, natural disasters and other situations, you can typically pinpoint the time, location – sometimes you’re looking at more than one location – but you know what you’re dealing with and can make quicker decisions and address the solutions and what to do next. But this keeps changing by the minute and it’s global.”
Nederlander’s varied calendar includes a host of theatre dates that have already been postponed or canceled, including Thom Yorke, Baby Shark Live!, Patton Oswalt and many others changing by the day or even minute, and at venues including the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and more than a couple in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has just announced a virtual shutdown of all “non-essential” businesses in multiple counties. 
While the situation changes by the day and the minute, Hodges says there are a few reasons to be somewhat hopeful. 
“I think a few things we’ve learned are on a global basis, which gives us a pretty good indication that it can be relatively short-lived,” Hodges added, as the company has a full amphitheatre season at venues including Vina Robles in Paso Robles and puts on shows at venues including Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento, as well as arena dates. “Does that mean we’re back to normal at the end of of March or April? We don’t know yet.” 
He added that in some cases outdoor venues are moving the amphitheatre season into November meaning no conflicting dates to compete with, although not every region may be able to get away with that weather-wise.
“We’re working on our list every day and every minute on the basis of every single show, selecting a new time, making new decisions,” Hodges says, jovially adding that they booked the shows the first time and can do it again. “It’s a logistics issue, it’s a health issue, and the first thing we have in mind is the safety and health of the public, our team and other teams and everybody associated.”
“But what’s really good is that all the agents, managers, artists, venues, operators, GM’s, everybody is cooperating and taking this all very seriously,” Hodges says. “Everybody has been really patient, courteous and proactive and i think that’s really good.”