No Concerts Till 2022 In The US, The UK Will Resume Concerts Next Month?
These past days, we have heard from some of the concert industry’s top executives, like Marc Geiger, the former global head of music at talent agency William Morris Entertainment and co-founder of Lollapalooza… And the news is not very good, there won’t probably any concert in the US until 2022
During The Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Geiger answered, when he was hoping to see concerts again: ‘In my humble opinion, it’s going to be 2022.’
‘It’s going to take that long before, what I call, the germaphobic economy is slowly killed off and replaced by the claustrophobia economy — that’s when people want to get out and go out to dinner and have their lives, go to festivals and shows.’
‘It’s my instinct, that’s going to take a while because super-spreader events — sports, shows, festivals, etc. — aren’t going to do too well when the virus is this present,’ Geiger added.
Unfortunately, he is probably right, as nobody wants to get sued for the spreading of the virus. Geiger noted that one of the biggest challenges for venues and promoters will be to find an insurer willing to cover their events.
It’s very sad to think that 2021 may be very similar to 2020, entertainment-less, concert-less, and very lonely. Plus, it will be very difficult for independent venues to survive another year… and the large majority of them may be forced to close for lack of revenues. We are living heartbreaking times.
On the other hand, the UK will resume concerts next month, how is it possible? What’s going on?
A few days ago, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that indoor concerts and performances will begin in England as early as August 1! As Billboard has reported, UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed in a tweet. Obviously, social distancing will be enforced and the venues will have to reduce capacity and will apply deep cleaning requirements. Certain venues, including the London Symphony Orchestra at St. Luke’s London, will be used as pilot venues and will be used to inform future venue guidelines.
Europe may be doing better than the US, but isn’t it too early to start such an experiment? The Daily Mail has even announced that Germany has decided to host a 4,000 person indoor concert on August 22 in order to study how COVID-19 spreads? Is this serious?
We cannot wait to see live music, we cannot wait to go back to normal but is this really reasonable?
If you look at what people are saying on social media, it’s not that simple, there is the enthusiastic crowd who cannot wait to go to a concert again, but there is also the other crowd, skeptical and cynical: ‘Don’t be fooled, guys. The UK government has handled this virus appallingly. We were late to lockdown and have one of the highest death rates in the world. We’re reopening because, like most Western countries, our economic system is too feeble for the lockdown to continue. Many of us feel that a second wave here is inevitable.’
Since most independent venues are asking for government support, there is also a lot of speculation about the real intentions of this early re-opening, plus will it even be effective and profitable to play a show at a third (or even lower) capacity?: ‘This is because the Conservatives in the UK don’t really want to help grassroots venues. It’s not going to be cost-effective. Lots of shows will get canceled. Artists won’t want to book gigs for risk of localized lockdowns coming into effect. The atmosphere of shows at half capacity and distanced will be deadly dull. The venues will try to function and close while the government will act like they helped and try and pin the blame on the venues. It’s like how they pinned blame on teachers, care workers, and the public in general for the Conservatives morally bankrupt and corrupt leadership and poor handling of the virus.’
There are effectively big concerns about playing for a small crowd in a large venue requiring equipment, lighting, and employees to maintain the place. plus how can you exactly do social distancing during a concert, unless it’s seated of course…
it looks like the UK government wants to absolve itself of being financially responsible for these venues, It looks like they allowed them to open just to get rid of any financial responsibility.
No concerts for us till 2022 and the UK will resume concerts next month? It may not be a very enviable situation after all. During this coronavirus crisis, everyone is definitively on its own.
From 1 August socially distanced audiences can return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues. This builds on pilots with @londonsymphony and others. So pleased to make progress to Stage 4 of our road map for culture. pic.twitter.com/Js7dQUghZ6
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) July 17, 2020