This week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director revealed that concerts and events could return in the U.S. by this fall. However, there’s only one way it will be able to happen.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. nearly a year ago, the live music and events industry took a big hit. Live Nation and Ticketmaster saw massive layoffs and historic drops in quarterly revenue. The toll the pandemic has taken on the industry has led to a slew of reports and predictions of what concerts may look like when they do return.
Along with rumors artists may have to take pay cuts to ticketholders seeing a drop in event prices, there’s a lot of speculation about what the future may hold. As well, some predict securing tickets for certain events may be harder than ever post-pandemic.
Despite this, the industry has already begun preparing for when events do return. Back in November, Ticketmaster announced its plans to enact socially-distant gigs in the future. The company also plans to implement an optional COVID-19 testing policy that screens ticketholders before entering events. After these proposed plans were criticized, Ticketmaster released a lengthy statement further clarifying what they mean for concert goers.
Now, Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has revealed when he thinks concerts could return. Throughout 2020, many sources predicted live music may be back in the latter part of 2021. As it turns out, Dr. Fauci agrees with these predictions. However, there’s only one way these predictions will be able to come true.
Dr. Fauci says the return of concerts, events and the reopening of theaters and venues is all dependent on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. During a conference held by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals on Jan. 9, Dr. Fauci stated that between 70 to 85 percent of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated before these events can return.
“If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021,” Dr. Fauci said via the New York Times. “So that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.”
Even if the U.S. does reach herd immunity in this time frame, Fauci says concerts will probably be different from how they were before. Venues and theaters may still have to take safety precautions including social distancing and mask-wearing. These rules could stick around for some time as the rest of the country gets vaccinated.
The live music industry recently got some much-needed relief from the U.S. Government. Last month, the Save Our Stages Act was officially passed through the coronavirus relief package. The act will provide around $15 billion in relief to independent music venues, movie theaters and other cultural institutions that have been closed since March 2020.
Over the past year, government loans have also been distributed to help struggling individuals in the live music sector. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Green Day and the Eagles all took out PPP loans to assist their tour crews who are still out of work.
What are your reactions to concerts possibly returning by this fall? Let us know in the comments below.