The entertainment industry has ground to a halt, so it’s surprising that Ticketmaster has made it this long without furloughing anyone due to COVID-19. But with little to no projected revenue for the remainder of 2020, the ticketing company has just furloughed a quarter of its workers.
Employees were apparently caught off guard as they were assured they would be taken care of, but as the situation continues to change, early promises would have to be re-examined.
Ticketmaster president Jared Smith said in the letter obtained by Variety, “For the very first time in the history of live entertainment, the industry is completely shut down,” describing that a few months ago, the situation would’ve “seemed incomprehensible.”
Furloughs are set to take effect May 1, but workers will still be given full health benefits as well as 1 to 2 weeks of payout from their earned time off. Ticketmaster has also assured those furloughed that they will be brought back “as soon as live performances start again.”
The decision comes on the heels of a SEC filing from Live Nation on April 13 that stated that the company was looking toward a $500 million cost reduction plan for this year, including “reducing contractors, renegotiating rent, and paring back other discretionary spending.”
Executives were not spared from the culling either, as Live Nation President/ CEO Michael Rapino has already relinquished his remaining salary for the year in a statement earlier this month.
Rapino said that “to date there are 50,000 events that have been canceled, postponed or rescheduled globally on the TM Platform.” He further said that “60% of the over 50,000 events that have been canceled, postponed and rescheduled globally on the TM Platform have been authorized for refunds — and we have already returned over $400 million to fans.”
With concerts and festivals unlikely to return in 2020 (sports events will likely return sooner, but when remains up in the air), the entire music industry faces a hard year ahead of it.
via Music Times