‘International Touring Potential Is Growing’: Q’s With Live Nation’s John Reid

John Reid, president EMEA, Live Nation.

For our annual Magna Charta issue, we reached out to John Reid, president Live Nation EMEA, and Impact International Honoree, to get a sense of where the business is at across the European continent and beyond. Live Nation’s pole position on the Magna Charta top promoters ranking in terms of gross speaks for itself, and, according to Reid, there are no signs of business slowing down anytime soon. On the contrary.

Pollstar: How would you sum up the state of business in Europe. Which markets stand out? How big are the differences between territories?
John Reid: 2023 was an incredible year for the live music industry and Live Nation – particularly across the international markets. International fan growth was up 34% last year and we’re continuing to see growth potential this year, which makes it a very exciting place to be. There are many new markets to explore which opens up both new local talent for new audiences to discover, and new tour routing possibilities for artists. Each market is different which means that the opportunities and options for artists and fans are more and more diverse.

Live Nation Middle East is a great example of a region with increasing opportunities and potential. We had a record year in 2023, with the largest show count since first establishing the business there in 2009. Launching Wireless Festival at the Etihad Park on Yas Island in March was a real highlight.

See: Live Nation Reflects On Middle East Success With Travis Scott

Some promoters I’ve spoken to said the arena business would more than make up for the lesser stadium shows that will undoubtedly go down in 2024. Can you confirm that?
We have great momentum coming into 2024. We’ve got a huge range of shows, from clubs through to arenas and stadiums, and of course our growing festival portfolio.

Are some U.S. artists more reluctant to come over to the UK less because of the general costs of touring right now?
International touring potential is growing, fans can find and discover new favorite acts online from anywhere in the world. In 2024, Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen, Nicki Minaj and more are coming over the pond to connect with their fanbases here.

The top end of this business is in rude health. Are you at all worried about the smaller to medium shows? What issues are they facing if any?
What we’re seeing is that fans are continuing to buy tickets – for their favourite local artist in their local venues or festivals of all sizes, right through to Springsteen stadium shows. And there’s a great pipeline of artists coming through right now – we’ve got Melanie Martinez, Tyler Childers, and Lainey Wilson all touring Europe this year.

What about Live Nation’s 2024 would you like to highlight?
Well, Adele’s run of 10 shows in the bespoke open-air stadium in Munich in August is going to be pretty incredible. There’s something for everyone with the massive variety of shows this year, and with new markets opening up, fans have never had so much choice.

Subscribe to Pollstar HERE