Concert industry trade publication Pollstar has issued its annual wrap-up report, a dismal one that projects a $30 billion loss for the live industry after originally anticipating a record-setting year at the box office.

The overwhelming financial loss comes as no surprise as the world shut down live events  operations in March as government systems issues stay-at-home orders, urging the importance of social distancing and limiting large gathering in an effort to mitigate the spread of the deadly pandemic.

A press release from Pollstar indicated that box office sales were expected to reach $12.2 billion this year, but instead suffered a loss of $9.7 billion.

Regarding the $30 billion loss figure that was provided, that accounts for unreported events, ancillary revenues including sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merchandise, transportation, restaurants, hotels and "other economic activity tied to the live events."

"It’s been an extraordinarily difficult year for the events industry, which has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. As painful as it is to chronicle the adversity and loss our industry and many of our colleagues faced, we understand it is a critical undertaking towards facilitating our recovery, which is thankfully on the horizon," said Ray Waddell, President of Oak View Group’s Media & Conferences Division, which oversees Pollstar and sister publication VenuesNow.

He continued, "With vaccines, better testing, new safety and sanitization protocols, smart ticketing and other innovations, the live industry will be ramping up in the coming months, and we’re sure that at this time next year we’ll have a very different story to tell."

Speculation as to when large, in-person concerts will make their return has resulted in a number of various projections made by musicians and industry professionals alike. Joe Berchtold, President of Live Nation, recently estimated a full-scale return will be seen in the U.S. by summer of 2021.

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