Can Concerts Return This Summer?

President Biden says we’ll have enough COVID vaccines for everyone by the end of May.  Does that mean we can start going to concerts again?  It’s complicated.

Live Nation is planning to host outdoor amphitheater shows by mid-summer.  And they’re pretty optimistic that, quote, “events can return to regular capacity” soon after the vaccine becomes widely available.

Unfortunately, it’ll probably take longer than that for the touring industry to start up again.  We may even have to wait until next year.  And there are a few reasons for that.

First, it’s going to be a while before indoor venues are allowed to operate close to full capacity, and indoor shows may not be worthwhile until then.

It’s also not worth it for an artist to tour if the whole country isn’t in sync.  One music exec says, quote, “You can’t do Swiss-cheese routing.  If it’s got holes in it because certain states haven’t opened up, it’s generally not going to work.”

Then there’s the safety issue.  Are enough people taking the vaccine?  What about variants of the virus?  Will the vaccines be effective against all of them?  And should we start packing arenas and concert halls before we have the answers?

A lot of people in the live music industry have cold feet about even announcing anything at this point because so many things have been pushed back so many times.

So, while it looks like there will be some shows this year . . . at least at outdoor venues . . . it remains to be seen if anyone will make the move to start touring again.



(Rolling Stone)