Live Nation saw a steep drop in revenue during the second quarter of 2020. In a plummet brought on by the shortage of live concerts and events amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the ubiquitous show promoter and venue operator posted 98 percent losses for the quarter ending June 30.

The numbers paint a stark picture. Live Nation had just 24 North American concerts in the quarter compared to 7,213 in the same period last year. That amounted to net revenue of $74.1 million for this year's second quarter — 98 percent less than the $3.16 billion from a year earlier.

Still, in the SEC filing from this week, Live Nation speaks in positive tones regarding a return to live music next year. Even though what concerts will look like under future safety guidelines remains an educated guess.

"Our top priority has been strengthening our financial position to ensure that we have the liquidity and flexibility to get through an extended period with no live events," the report states. Live Nation expects "live events will return at scale in the summer of 2021, with ticket sales ramping up" in anticipation.

It also shows faith that "fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so. Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund. Through the end of the second quarter, 86 percent of concert fans are keeping their tickets" for rescheduled gigs.

But that doesn't mean the current contraction is without consequences. To stay afloat, Live Nation has dramatically cut back on staff. A Billboard article from May noted the company had furloughed 2,100 of its 10,500 employees across multiple divisions in a bid to reduce its costs by $600 million.

The second-quarter report from Live Nation was signed by President and CEO Michael Rapino, who adds, "When it is safe to return, we will have an abundance of fans and artists ready to enjoy live music again."

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