AEG Presents was hit as hard as anyone in the live industry by COVID-19, as the company is responsible for some of the world’s largest and most profitable tours – including Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” which won the Pollstar Award for Major Tour Of the Year in 2020 – and some of North America’s biggest festivals, including Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, all of which canceled for 2020.
One of North America’s powerhouse promoters, AEG Presents came in at No. 2 on Pollstar’s Mid-Year Worldwide Ticket Sales Top 100 Promoters chart in 2020 with 1,971,738 tickets sold and $181,086,059 reportedly grossed, approximately half of its figures at the same point in 2019.
The large shadow AEG casts means many pay close attention to the words and deeds of Jay Marciano, Chairman and CEO of AEG Presents and COO of AEG.
Unfortunately, Marciano had to deliver some heartbreaking news on June 8, writing what he referred to as the most difficult email message of his life, informing employees of furloughs and layoffs as part of a cost-reduction plan.
Marciano noted that everyone affected would be provided with the best possible safety net and that no employees should blame themselves for the decision.
“I want you to know I have much empathy for the hardship the actions being taken today will cause many of you and your families. I’d like to drive home one point: nobody should feel like they are responsible, that they could have done something differently, or that they could have better prepared,” Marciano wrote in that letter. “I know this may sound obvious, but in the coming days and weeks please remember, this is not your fault. We have assembled the best team in our industry. This is due to your hard work and commitment, and I am grateful for each of you. Even during these uncertain times, I am confident in one thing: our business WILL be back, and as strong as – if not stronger than – before.”
Marciano also sits on the task force of industry giants – alongside Michael Rapino, Dan Beckerman, Rob Light, Marc Geiger, Sam Gores, Marty Diamond and David Zedeck – that in March recommended suspending all mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.