2023 Impact 50: Michael Rapino

Chairman & CEO
Live Nation

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As CEO of Live Nation since 2005, Michael Rapino has steered the world’s number one promoter to stratospheric heights through both prosperous and perilous times while expanding its business exponentially. Rapino led Live Nation through the lean pandemic years and ended 2022 with record revenues and ticket sales. With the live industry firing on all cylinders and then some, this year promises to be another record-setter if market conditions can remain constant.

Live Nation’s Q1 earnings indicate the live industry is in go-go-go times. The company reported a whopping $3.1 billion in revenue, up an enormous 73% from last year. And for its bottom line, LN had operating income of $142.8 million – more than five times higher than Q1 last year. The promoter saw increases in nearly every market sector: Concert revenue was nearly $2.3 billion, an 89% increase year-overyear. Sponsorship was up 47% to $170 million and ticketing revenue against Q1 2022 defied expectations with $677.7 million in ticketing revenues selling some 90 million tickets – 20% higher than the same point in 2022.

Of course, it wouldn’t be 2023 if Rapino wasn’t one of the leading voices of reason on the ticketing tempest that’s consumed too much of the political class’s time in the wake of 2022’s Taylor Swift ticketing debacle. In February, Live Nation introduced its FAIR Ticketing proposal with a five-point platform: Artists should decide resale rules; make speculative ticketing illegal; expand and enforce the BOTS Act; crack down on resale
sites that are scalper safe havens; and mandate all-in pricing nationally.

In this touring industry bull market, Live Nation continues to launch new initiatives.
In early May the company announced the return of Concert Week, offering $25 all-in tickets to more than 3,800 shows. In April, Live Nation launched Vibee, a premium music destination experience company with partners that include Insomniac, C3 Presents and Country Nation with concert premium experiences offered internationally and
at sea.