Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is initiating layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours, and salary reductions that will affect employees at AEG Presents, the live music promotion group that puts on concerts and major festivals including Coachella, Billboard reports and Pitchfork can confirm. The changes will go into effect on July 1, according to a letter that AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman sent to employees (viewed by Pitchfork). The cost-cutting measures are due to the economic impact of concert and festival cancelations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a second report from Billboard, the cuts include layoffs of 15% of the company’s workforce, more than 100 people furloughed, and 20-50% pay cuts.
AEG had reportedly implemented salary reductions in April, which Beckerman acknowledged in his letter. “We have gone to extreme measures to cut costs and preserve jobs. We instituted a 20% across-the-board reduction in salaries, we drastically cut expenses and we eliminated all unnecessary projects, investments and capital expenditures,” Beckerman wrote.
In a follow-up letter to employees, also viewed by Pitchfork, AEG Presents chairman and chief executive Jay Marciano wrote, “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that, just a few short months ago, nobody in our business—or any business—could have predicted where we would be today. The world has changed with an impact and scope that’s impossible to fathom.”
Marciano continued, “I wish I could tell you when it will be safe to reopen. At present, it appears large-scale events—the core of our business—will be the last to reopen. We will continue to monitor this daily, but the health and safety of our employees, artists and fans remains our highest priority. Simply put, we will reopen when we are confident that it is safe to do so.”
AEG Presents suspended all of its tours at the beginning of March. The suspension affected artists including Billie Eilish, Post Malone, and Thundercat. AEG has been offering refunds for rescheduled shows since May. In his letter to employees, Dan Beckerman wrote, “It is clear now that live events with fans will not resume for many months and likely not until sometime in 2021.”
In its second report, Billboard claimed that Coachella will not take place in October, but there has been no official word on the festival’s status. Pitchfork has reached out to Coachella and Goldenvoice.
Read “What Happens When a Music Festival Is Canceled Due to Coronavirus?” on the Pitch.