By Emma Nitzsche 

After a year of virtually no in-person concerts and shows, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster announced record ticket sales and solid second-quarter earnings. The Tuesday second-quarter earnings report showed revenue spiking to $575.9 million — a 677 percent increase from last year. Additionally, the entertainment company’s net loss narrowed to $195.7 million compared to $587.5 million in three years.

In terms of sales, Ticketmaster saw the fourth-best month in history for transacted ticket volume. Over 14 million tickets were sold for 2022, with an additional 11-million tickets purchased by consumers who had not worked with Ticketmaster previously.

The numbers represent a drastic difference from Ticketmaster’s first-quarter report, which reported a 76 percent decrease in concert revenue and a 90 percent decrease in ticketing. Ticket sales drove Live Nation’s deferred revenue up to $2.1 billion, a stark contrast from the $1.6 billion Live Nation had at the end of the second quarter in 2019.

In Tuesday’s earnings call, CEO Micahel Rapino said 2022 and 2023 would be a “roaring era” for concerts and live events. Rapino said he expects to have over 3 million fans attend their festivals during the year’s second half. Although festival attendance plummeted in 2020, he expects two-thirds of their festivals to increase their attendance compared to 2019.

“The momentum for the return to live events has been building every month, with ticket sales and concert attendance pacing faster than expected, underscoring the strength and resiliency of the concert business and live events in general,” Rapino added. 

Most of the festival tickets have sold out quickly, and the average ticket price had increased 10 percent from its rate in 2019. Even though ticket prices are higher, Ticketmaster reported high on-site spending by fans at venues. Rapino said spending is up double digits compared to 2019, although he notes that the result could be the result of a smaller number of concerts served this year.

Live Nation also said its sponsorship commitments for 2022 increased significantly from 2019. Some of the new advertisers include Allegiant Air, Adobe, and Cinch. Sponsorship and future advertisement contracts are a great indicator of a company’s growth and longevity, showing outside confidence from other brands. In 2019, sponsorship and advertising were down 75 percent from $90.3 million to $22.6 million.

Although increased covid-restrictions are looming on the horizon, Rapino is confident for the future.

“The idea that it’s just one season of bigness just isn’t true. We’ve got three or four years of strong demand coming our way.”