New figures released by Live Nation reveal that more people are attending live events than ever before.
With the live music industry having been essentially decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, fans are clamouring to attend shows in a post-pandemic world.
Live Nation, which describes itself as the "world's leading live entertainment company", released its financial results for the first quarter of 2023 – and it makes for encouraging reading for the music industry.
Revenue is up, year-on-year, by 73% to $3.1billion and so far, more than 90million gig tickets have been bought. Live Nation expects to manage 600million global ticket sales in 2023.
The results also show than fans are spending more money when at gigs, and that enhanced experiences – such as premium location tickets – have been selling well.
Michael Rapino, Live Nation's President and Chief Executive Officer, says: "What is clear as we look at our results and operating metrics is that global demand for live events continues to reach new heights – demand has been growing for a long time and is showing no signs of letting up.
"Talking to fans, they say that live experiences are the number one leisure category where they expect to spend more in the future. Naturally, this is leading to record levels of activity in both our concerts and ticketing businesses.
"We expect to host a record number of fans this year, even against a 2022 comparison which benefited from rescheduled shows attended by 20 million fans.
"Ticketmaster should also deliver record activity, with around 600 million tickets managed globally this year. Our sponsorship business, even after incredible growth last year, looks to be on track for double-digit AOI (Adjusted Operating Income) growth again this year.
"As we then look to 2024 and beyond, we have all the necessary levers to build our flywheel globally and continue to compound AOI by double-digits for the foreseeable future."
Despite this upturn in the number of people attending shows, the pandemic has had a lasting impact on the cost of running live events. A number of bands have pulled the plug on tours due to skyrocketing fuel and travel costs.
Last month, Anthrax cancelled a string of European festival dates. And last year, they pulled out of 20 shows in Europe as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations, blaming spiralling costs.
Also in April, The Agonist cancelled a planned European tour.