John Reid
– John Reid

Impact International: UK/Euro Honors

John Reid

President Live Nation EMEA 

Coming Back Stronger: John Reid Prepares The Monster Return

The UK’s concert business is ramping up to full swing. Outside the U.S., no other country has seen as many full-capacity shows and festivals this summer. The situation in mainland Europe varies, depending on each country’s reopening strategy and vaccine rollout. Overseeing it all is John Reid, President of Live Nation Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA), who says, “Like everyone in our business, I personally wish it was happening quicker, but there is real progress. 2022 feels like a monster return for us.”

Because the pandemic’s severity and related restrictions vary across Europe, Live Nation’s focus “continues to be on working closely with governments and local authorities to show that we are ready to deliver the live events fans and artists alike have been waiting for as soon as we are permitted,” Reid explains. “We manage risks every day – it’s part of the promoter business model – and we’ve seen some governments understand that and value our expertise better than others.”

Live Nation ran several test events in the UK. Just like the programs conducted in Paris, Barcelona and Germany, among others, they showed low transmission rates among attendees.

“The evidence gathered was relevant to policy makers across the world,” Reid says. “The health and safety of our artists, fans and employees will always be our priority.”

Even with restrictions in place, Live Nation’s teams have managed to think laterally and produce great experiences, such as the “Rock Werchter team in Belgium, who put all their energy into creating a 28-show series at the festival park which saw a total of 63,000 fans at shows throughout July and August this year.” There’s no place in Europe, however, that has been as bold in its reopening of live as the UK, “where crowds are buzzing with excitement to be back in a venue/field. Fans and artists are chomping at the bit to get back to live shows – there’s never been such a strong endorsement of live music! This pent-up demand creates a huge opportunity for us and we’ll be focusing on doing the best for our artists and fans when it comes to rescheduling and booking into 2022,” Reid says.

If there’s one thing the past 18 months have taught Reid, it’s that “the industry can come together and work for the greater good.” Still, “the importance of governments understanding the sector and what we contribute economically as well as to overall wellbeing and happiness” will be vital going forward. 

“Hopefully all of these takeaways will contribute to the industry coming back, not just as strong as it was, but stronger,” he says.