Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and Rage Against The Machine were plotting their first North American tours in a few years for 2020, but due to the current worldwide pandemic, those plans had to be shelved, but Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino appears confident in those bands and others returning to the road in 2021.
Rapino envisions socially distanced shows with limited capacity, shows streamed without fans, and other unique performances for the next six months before a full scale 2021 comeback.
He told Variety.com, “There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do higher-end theaters or clubs. So you’re gonna see us [gradually reopening] in different countries, whether it’s Finland, Asia, Hong Kong — certain markets are farther ahead [in the recovery process].
Over the summer there will be testing happening, whether it’s fan-less concerts, which offer great broadcast opportunities and are really important for our sponsorship business; drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out and we’re having some success with; or reduced-capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors in a theater on a large stadium floor, where there’s enough room to be safe.”
“We think in the Fall, if there are no second hotspots, you’ll see markets around the world [reopening] — Europe, specifically, has talked about opening up 5,000-plus [gatherings] in September. And on the venue side, we’re dealing with federal, the White House, every government body you can imagine, and we’ve got a great task force around what we have to do with the venue to make you safe.
“So I think in the Fall you’ll see more experimenting and more shows happening in a theater setting, into some arenas. And then our goal is really to be on sale in the third and fourth quarters for 2021 at full scale.”
Rage Against The Machine were set to reunite for their first shows in 9 years in 2020, while Foo Fighters were set to tour to celebrate their 25th anniversary and a new album, and Pearl Jam were planning their first extensive North American tour in years to promote their new album Gigaton.