Live Nation reports $3.1 billion in revenue and record attendance despite controversies Live Nation records $3.1 billion in revenue and record attendance despite controversies

New York (CNN) Live Nation grossed a record $3.1 billion Revenue — up 73% from last year — in the first quarter of 2023, despite potential regulation and massive fallout from Failed Ticketmaster sales For Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

In an earnings release, the ticketing giant said more than 19 million people attended events in 45 countries in the first quarter. Many places and markets have fully opened for the first time since the global pandemic began in 2020.

But the success comes as a handful of bills work their way through Congress targeting the company’s controversial and widely criticized ticketing practices and near-monopoly in the business.

In a statement, CEO Michael Rapinoe said the company’s latest hit is credited in part to stadium tours for stars Beyoncé, Drake, and Bruce Springsteen.

“The demand was so strong that even when artists added a number of additional shows, they still couldn’t fulfill all of the fan requests,” Rapinoe said.

In one day last November, more than two million Taylor Swift tickets were sold on Live Nation’s Ticketmaster, a record for any artist. But those sales came with hours of delay, confusion, and misinformation.

It ended up almost completely crashing the site Depriving millions of fans – including those with pre-sale codes – the opportunity to buy tickets.

Ultimately, the ticket company canceled the public sale due to “unusually high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket stock to meet this demand”.

Stock climbing

But this week, the company reported earnings that beat analyst expectations and $320 million in adjusted operating income for the first quarter, up 53% from a year ago. Live Nation stock rose about 15% on the news, closing at around $77 a share.

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Rapinoe said the company is “watching what happens” with regard to legislation on the earnings call. In February, the company announced support for Fair Ticket Actwhich would allow artists to define resale rules and crack down on bots and sellers.

“Through all this noise, most people in industry and politics end up with exactly where we are and the principles of the FAIR Act,” Rapinoe said.

Rapinoe also said some “circumferential” legislation should help rein in speculators, which the company has done. Blame For smashing the site while taylor swift.

“The common theme in all of this legislation that you’re seeing moving forward is the limitation of putting some handcuffs around the exploiter and the business,” Rapinoe said.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation face a lawsuit of Swifties across the country who sued in December for “unlawful conduct” in selling the pop star’s chaotic tour, alleging that the ticket giant violated antitrust laws, among other things.

fans Eurovision Song Contest They were also unable to access the Ticketmaster site in March.

Congressional hearings

Lawmakers questioned Live Nation President and Chief Financial Officer Joe Berchtold in a three-hour hearing in January, alleging that the ticketing giant exercises too much monopolistic control over the industry.

SeatGeek CEO Jack Grotzinger alleged at the hearing that many venue owners “fear losing Live Nation concerts if they don’t use Ticketmaster” and its services, and argued that the company should be broken up.

“I want to congratulate you and thank you for this absolutely amazing achievement,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said bluntly He said to Berthold. It brought Republicans and Democrats together in a totally unified cause.

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Blumenthal and Senator Amy Klobuchar Introduce the legislation in April to “improve competition in the live event ticket markets”.

“Right now, a company is leveraging its power to lock in places on exclusive contracts lasting up to ten years, ensuring that potential competitors have no room to get their foot in the door,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

CNN’s Samantha Murphy Kelly, Julia Horowitz, and Jordan Valinski contributed to this report.

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