Right now, it’s very uncertain as to when live events will resume as normal once coronavirus is contained. For now, parts of the world are putting on socially-distant shows and companies like Live Nation plan to trial concert alternatives including drive-in concerts and fanless broadcasts.
Now, major concert promoters and agents are outlining what they predict future live events will look like. From what fans can expect when concerts resume to how much concert tickets might cost, a new Wall Street Journal article is outlining many predictions.
This month, the nonprofit Event Safety Alliance released a guide that highlights what future events could look like post-coronavirus. Some of the guide’s details state that socially-distant concerts may become a normal thing once the pandemic is contained. As well, fans won’t be able to engage in moshpits and crowdsurfing for quite some time.
Now, in a new Wall Street Journal article, more details regarding the industry’s future are being discussed. In the article, major concert promoters and agents were interviewed about the state of the industry.
To start, many of them agree that the repercussions of this pandemic will impact the industry’s health and safety forever.
“The way 9/11 changed our industry in terms of security… this [coronavirus] will [lead to] best practices that our touring industry is compelled to employ forever,” Dave Brown, the COO of the American Airlines Center in Dallas, says.
One particular promoter believes that we shouldn’t expect to see live events resume as normal until late 2021. This prediction aligns with Live Nation’s CEO Michael Rapino’s latest statements.
Rapino said in a recent statement that Live Nation doesn’t think large scale events will start until the latter half of 2021. His statement comes during a rather tumultuous time for the company and their partner Ticketmaster. As part of their cost-reduction plans, Live Nation laid off nearly a quarter of the North American staff this week. The companies are also facing various lawsuits regarding their refund policies.
One major change that could happen with the live events industry is ticket prices. Many industry folks believe that a possible recession and fans’ reluctance to attend shows could lead to tickets not being sold. To combat this, ticket prices might need to be lowered. This is in comparison to the 2008 United States recession when ticket prices were lowered 5 – 8 percent. This was to accommodate the changes in the economy. However, what future ticket prices will look like exactly is still unknown.
The Wall Street Journal article also reveals that industry workers expect shows to be socially-distant for quite some time. They anticipate that large open-air venues will likely be the first to open. These venues will be undersold to adhere to social distancing restrictions. As well, they predict it will be hard for artists to tour due to some states still being under quarantine. This could lead to the possibility of long term residencies in specific venues to happen.
Socially-distant events are already starting to happen worldwide. This week, Arkansas held its first socially-distant concert. As well, Live Nation recently announced a socially-distant concert series called “Together Again.” The weekly concert series will take place in New Zealand, a country where coronavirus has been virtually eliminated.
Face masks and testing stations could also become part of a normal concert experience. Promoters and agents anticipate that hand-sanitizing stations and temperature checks will be heavy focuses when live events return.
Along with the loss of crowdsurfing and moshpits for a while, fans shouldn’t expect meet-and-greets to return anytime soon. For obvious reasons, the spread of coronavirus and other diseases may prohibit these close encounters between artists and fans to happen for a long time.
“I don’t think you’re going to see meet-and-greets for a long time,” AEG’s Rick Mueller says.
The full Wall Street Journal article is available to read here. However, you will have to pay to read the entire thing.
What do you think future concerts will look like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!