Revenue / 07.21.21
Reopening Rigors: Industry Contends With Labor Shortage, Production Pricing Problems
Pollstar (07/16/21) Borba, Ryan
Although traction is building in the touring industry's resurgence, labor shortages and pricing problems are causing headaches. "What I see in the industry recovery is a condensed history of the last 30 years of how the entertainment industry was built," says PRG Music CEO Randy Hutson. This entails many regional tours and outdoor events, with Hutson noting that PRG just concluded a deal to handle the Twenty One Pilots tour, and has major clients preparing for their own tours. He cautions that tour buses and trucking for tours are fully booked, and there are 30% fewer available staff across the board. "Right now we're looking at, I think, 60-120 days of a very vicious pricing cycle that we hope will subside, and that we'll come out of better as a community and make the industry a better place," Huston remarks. The first genre to hit the road in general is country music, while several super-hot acts like Harry Styles are sustaining momentum with September launches. Hutson cites the industry's resilience, and expects that many who exited the business will return, while new players will leverage opportunities. In terms of when staffing levels will return to normal, Simmons Bank Arena general manager Michael Marion says "these days, you have to end every conversation with, 'I just don't know,' and I am still holding onto that. My other comment is, 'I'm going to be optimistic until I can't be.'"
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Tags: Music , News , Venues