• Market Crumbs

Struggling Music Venues Find A Savior


Image via Oscar Keys on Unsplash

The music industry has been one of the hardest hit since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year. A survey of 2,000 independent concert venue owners across all 50 states in the U.S. conducted by the National Independent Venue Association found that 90% expect to close for good within a few months if federal funding isn't provided.


"Independent venues were the first to close​ and will be the last to reopen​," the NIVA said. "Venues have zero revenue, but obligations like mortgage/rent, bills, loans, taxes, and insurance continue. We have no work to offer our employees for the foreseeable future. The shutdown is indefinite and likely to extend into 2021 as our venues are in the last stage of reopening."


With federal funding looking all but certain to not come in time to save these venues, Marc Geiger sees an opportunity to pitch his solution. Geiger, who formerly served as global head of the William Morris Endeavor Music Division from 2003 until 2020 and co-founded the music festival Lollapalooza, has formed what he calls SaveLive to essentially bail out struggling music venues.


SaveLive, which Geiger founded with former WME colleague John Fogelman, has landed $75 million in an initial investment round to invest in venues across the country by acquiring at least a 51% stake in each. SaveLive's plan is to invest in dozens of clubs across the U.S. to create a network of venues that will be prepared for live entertainment to hopefully return in 2022 by their estimates.


"One of my favorite things in the world is to go to a club, be treated well and see an incredible band," Geiger said. "So I thought, 'OK, I'm going to raise a bunch of money and I'm going to backstop all these clubs. I'm going to be a bailout solution for them, and I'm going to call the company SaveLive."


Despite having barely any other options, not everyone in the music industry is keen to SaveLive's move to bailout struggling venues.


"Geiger's solution on some level scares me," Frank Riley of High Road Touring told the New York Times. "He is going to buy distressed properties for money on the dollar and end up owning 51 percent of their business. Is that independent? I don't know. But it does save the platforms on which things grow and where artists are sustained."


Geiger told the New York Times that SaveLive isn't looking to flip venues but rather be a long term partner. SaveLive's primary backer, Jordan Moelis of Deep Field Asset Management, echoed Geiger's sentiment, saying "We don't see this as a distressed-asset play. We see this as a business-building play, a play to be a long-term partner and to be around for a long time."


With few other options available to struggling music venues across the U.S., SaveLive may be the best hope to save them from closing for good even if some in the industry aren't completely on board.


Leftover Crumbs

  • Pending home sales drop. Pending home sales declined for the first time in four months after falling 2.2% in September compared to August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The northeast was the only region to post an increase in pending home sales last month, while the midwest, south and west regions all saw declines of more than 2.5%. "The benefits of low interest rates have been completely erased by steep price gains, especially in expensive urban markets,” realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu said.

  • LVMH and Tiffany agree to a deal. LVMH and Tiffany & Co have ended their dispute to agree to a $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH. The deal price equates to $131.50 per share and represents a reduction of about $425 million from the original deal price of $135.00 per share. "We are as convinced as ever of the formidable potential of the Tiffany brand and believe that LVMH is the right home for Tiffany and its employees during this exciting next chapter," LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said.

  • Tesla plans service center push. Tesla is planning to open 52 new service centers in 2021 as it tries to keep pace with the increasing number of Teslas on the road, according to Electrek. While Tesla deliveries have increased by nearly 50% over the last twelve months, the number of service centers has increased by just 12%. Tesla currently has just over 450 service centers globally. Tesla is reportedly looking for real estate that can be quickly converted to service centers in areas with a high concentration of Tesla sales.

  • Remote work to last through 2021? ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott said companies are planning to have employees work from home through 2021 as a Covid-19 vaccine won't be readily available to everyone. McDermott also predicts a "hybrid" work environment where employees rotate between working from home and going to an office. "We're never going back to the way the world once was," McDermott said. "This is the new reality we're living with, and distributed workforces are a thing of not only the present but also the future."

  • Investors want in on Ant Group. The domestic retail book for Chinese fintech company Ant Group's IPO was 872 times oversubscribed, according to filings. The company will raise $17.2 billion in China and about the same in Hong Kong, making the $34.4 billion IPO the largest ever, surpassing Saudi Aramco's $29.4 billion listing last year.