The revival of the touring business took another tentative step forward when AEG, the world’s second-largest live-entertainment company, sent a notice to furloughed staffers that they will begin returning to work on April 1.
According to an email to staff from AEG CEO Dan Beckerman, the first group of employees who had been furloughed or had reduced hours will begin returning at the top of next month, with a goal of all affected staffers “return[ing] to work at full pay no later than October 1,” he wrote. “During the next six months, as our business ramps up, we will begin bringing all of you back full time at full salary.” The news was first reported by Billboard.
Due to the pandemic, the company was hit with large-scale layoffs that took effect last July 1, although pay cuts began in March.
AEG’s properties include the Coachella festival (which sources say has been postponed until next year), Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 Arena in London.
“We can confirm that the company has distributed an outline for a full reemergence from our Covd-related workforce plan and look forward to welcoming back all affected employees in the coming months,” the company said in a statement to Variety.
Last month, Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, followed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s all-clear for the summer festival season by selling 170,000 tickets to three major U.K. summer festivals that in less than a week. CEO Michael Rapino followed by saying during the company’s earnings call that he expects outdoor and smaller indoor concerts to resume in the U.S. in “mid-summer,” and possibly festivals as well.
Due to variations in state’s lockdown protocols, touring has already resumed on a smaller scale throughout the South and Midwest, with multiple artists, particularly in the country and rock genres, taking two to four week-long regional treks.