Music Festivals and Concerts Halted by COVID-19

By Justin Kang

Wanting an outlet from the daily stress and isolation that life brings, Americans have flocked to music festivals and concerts in astounding numbers. Thousands of concertgoers could be packed into an arena at a time, which was the exact downfall of these largely intimate and social events. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, most artists have halted the proceeding of any further shows for the time being. Not only are the artists trying to protect their fans, but they must comply with updated CDC guidelines. 

Looking at current statistics, we can’t expect to see concerts return in full capacity anytime soon. However, we can be optimistic that when artists are putting on shows again eventually, they’ll be back and better than ever. Concert touring is a billion dollar industry, with tours grossing an annual revenue of about $5.55 billion worldwide. As 2020 began, the industry was preparing for a record year globally. According to Pollstar, $9.7 billion in ticket sales alone were lost, and another $30 billion was lost in sponsorships, concessions, merchandise, and other products. The first events to return would most likely be outdoor concerts and venues with open circulation and mask-wearing. Further down the road, we would begin to see events in concert halls and theatres returning to normal. The biggest problem the industry is dealing with right now is the inability of being able to open events at full capacity. It is remarkable to hear that shows won’t be significantly profitable unless they are above 80% capacity. 

“What are artists doing to combat this?” you may ask. Many performers have broadcasted their shows virtually through live streaming platforms. These online concerts are accessible by purchasing a virtual ticket, granting you admission to the live show. While many argue the experience isn’t the same, these concerts are extremely important to the artists, as they have an opportunity to share their new music.

As vaccines are being rolled out and the fight against the pandemic goes on, there is no telling when mass live entertainment events such as concerts will be able to return at full capacity. The sheer volume of attendees is a hazard and huge risk when they are in close proximity to one another. In the near future, the best bet is to attend your favorite artists’ virtual concerts!

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