Issue #202

Legendary performances by Madonna and The Rolling Stones last week and another record quarter for Live Nation. Plus, the American Tourism Act was introduced and two photo finishes over the weekend.

1.6 million attend Madonna’s free concert in Brazil

The final show of Madonna’s “The Celebration Tour” was nothing short of epic. The free concert on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was hyped as the “the biggest ever in her four-decade career” and it did not disappoint. An estimated 1.6 million fans showed up to hear the Material Girl, more than 10 times her previous record attendance of 130,000 at Paris’ Parc des Sceaux in 1987. 

Another record quarter for Live Nation

Live Nation had another record quarter, posting its best-ever Q1 with $3.8 billion in revenue (up 21% YOY). They did this with 13% more events (11,203) and 21% higher attendance (23 million guests). Ticket sales, F&B, and sponsorship each beat Q1 2023 as well; all signs are pointing to the potential for another “record year.” However, despite the growth, Live Nation reported a $37 million operating loss in Q1, due to “one-time accruals.”

The American Music Tourism Act has been introduced to US Congress with the aim of supporting struggling venues and musicians. This legislation proposes tax incentives to encourage music-related tourism, such as attending concerts and purchasing merchandise. Advocates believe it could provide a much-needed boost to the music industry and local economies. However, critics raise questions about the effectiveness and potential costs associated with the proposed incentives.

Concert Week is back for year ten. From May 8 to 14, Live Nation is once again offering $25 tickets to performances from over 900 artists and this year has expanded the annual promotion to beyond North America, with 20 new eligible countries. T-Mobile, Rakuten, and RBC are offering early access for their customers, and Hilton Honors members can pay for tickets with Hilton Honors points.

Rock Nashville, a new 55-acre live entertainment campus from Rock Lititz is coming to Nashville, TN in 2025. The new space will feature production studios, band rehearsal space, storage, and live entertainment vendors including SoundCheck and Clair Global, making it a one-stop-shop for rehearsals and production.

Snapchat and Live Nation have expanded their partnership, giving users “unique access” to music experiences. Through their new feature, Snap Nation, a public profile on Snapchat where users can catch behind-the-scenes content from artists and Live Nation shows and festivals in the US, handpicked by Snapchat. Snap Nation is planned to roll out at 30 festivals in the next year.

Goldman Sachs published its annual Music in the Air report, raising its growth forecast for the industry’s revenue 0.1% to 7.9%, based largely on live events, superfans, and music publishing. It expects that growth rate to stay the same throughout the decade. In 2023, growth was 14.8%, higher than the forecasted 7.2%, again largely due to live events outperforming expectations. It also indicated that the live market is now 20% above its pre-Covid level (2019).

As the number of events continues to surge, it is unsurprising that the demand for tour buses - or coaches - has also skyrocketed. Artists and their crews need transportation to reach their shows, and several leading coach companies report being fully booked until the end of the year, with reservations for 2025 filling up rapidly. This unprecedented demand has prompted companies to expand their fleets, leading to diminished availability from manufacturers.

Staff from the Galilee Center and other local non-profits comb through abandoned campsites after Coachella and Stagecoach each year, filling trucks with over 24 tons of gear, clothing, furniture and more. Some items are from campers and others are from vendors and sponsor activations. The reusable items are later redistributed to families in need or sold in thrift stores to benefit the non-profits.

The Rolling Stones finally rocked the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Thursday, after two canceled attempts, once by the band (2019) and by Covid (2021). As a testament to the iconic band's anticipated draw, all other 13 stages were dark during their performance, marking the only time during the eight-day festival when just a single act performed.

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Headliners, Lineups, and Festival Announcements 

  • Summer X Games, taking place at Ventura County Fairgrounds June 28 - 30 will include performances by Wiz Khalifa and Kaskade.

  • Slipknot announced a 25th Anniversary, “Here Comes The Pain Tour,” with several interspersed festival dates. The tour kicks off August 6 at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN and the North American leg wraps September 21 with Knotfest Iowa in Des Moines. 

  • Sierra Ferrell and Patty Griffin will headline the inaugural Evanston Folk Festival, at Dawes Park in Evanston, IL, September 7 - 8.

  • Iron Blossom Music Festival will feature CAAMP, Mt. Joy, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and Turnpike Troubadours, September 21 - 22, on the grounds of the Training Center on Leigh, Richmond, VA.

  • Luke Bryan announced his 15th annual Farm Tour dates, September 21 in Marshville, NC, September 26 in Shelbyville, KY, September 27 in Millersport, OH, and September 28 in Smithton, PA. 

  • Coachella will return to Indio, CA April 11 - 13 and 18 - 20, 2025. Next year’s tickets are on sale now, with Tier 1 already sold out for all Weekend 1 pass types.


  • Last Saturday’s Lovers & Friends Festival in Las Vegas, NV, was canceled due to high winds, while headliner Usher was on stage doing his soundcheck. Usher, however, made lemonade with an intimate, surprise show at Jewel Nightclub Aria Hotel for 1,900 lucky fans.

  • BeachLife Festival was also affected by high winds, forcing the Redondo Beach, CA festival to end early on Sunday night after a short attempt to wait out the weather. Fleet Foxes, Trey Anastasio and headliner My Morning Jacket’s performances were all canceled. 

May 9 (online): AI's Influence on the Music Industry and Culture Webinar, FREE. Register here.

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