How coronavirus hurts businesses in the live music industry : The Indicator from Planet Money Live music events are like micro-economies that support hundreds of small businesses. Coronavirus is hammering them.
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Live Music Industry Blues

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Live Music Industry Blues

Live Music Industry Blues

Live Music Industry Blues

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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
A man wearing a mask stands in front of a poster of Coachella on La Brea Avenue during the COVID-19 crisis. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Music festivals and concerts have exploded into a $12 billion business over the last ten years. The biggest festivals, like Coachella or the Electric Daisy Carnival, can attract more than 100,0000 people a day, and gross more than $10 million.

The festivals don't just generate revenue for the organizers, the musicians and their crews. Each event spawns a kind of mini-municipality. There's all the things you'd expect from a music festival, like the merchandise vendors and food sales; and then there's all the things you might not necessarily think of, but which every festival needs: police and fire services; water and power; port-a-potties; healthcare.

Put all of these services together, and these festivals have a massive economic impact. They employ thousands of people. So when the coronavirus struck, and the festivals began announcing cancellations, it wasn't just the end of a good day out for music fans: for many people, it was the end of their livelihoods.

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