As the world slowly prepares to reopen after going into quarantine to help stop the spread of COVID-19, plans to reopen cities all show the same thing: large concert venues and gatherings will be the last thing to open. Between The Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers has one simple request for fans: if you love to see live gigs, wear a mask or you might not ever see bands live again.
While some have made efforts to bring back live concerts, whether it be drive-in concerts, or grossly undersold socially distanced shows – ultimately, the only way for a band to feasibly be able to tour the country is if everything is reopened. And everything won't reopen, until coronavirus cases go down.
Rogers tweeted "If you truly enjoy live music, maybe take this virus seriously and wear a mask?? It’s not hard… you just put it on your face.
Bands will never be on a stage again if this doesn’t get better."
If you truly enjoy live music, maybe take this virus seriously and wear a mask?? It’s not hard… you just put it on your face.
Bands will never be on a stage again if this doesn’t get better. 🤷🏻♂️
— Tommy Rogers (@tommybtbam) June 18, 2020
Jade Pagkas-Bather, an infectious-disease expert and clinician at the University of Chicago, recommends wearing a mask everywhere "unless it's just you and nature" saying there is a “collective responsibility” to wear a mask in public, as people can become infectious before exhibiting symptoms. “Wearing a mask is about protecting your neighbor not necessarily yourself. But, if we do it universally, then we protect each other.” Washing your hands regularly, and using hand sanitizer if you happen to be on longer journeys are also strongly recommended. You can read more here, or just roll your eyes and call it fake news. Whichever works for you.
An April report in New York Times Magazine, interviewing a slew of experts on realistic expectations for restarts to certain aspects of the economy, including bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, who predicted live concerts wouldn't return until fall 2021 the earliest. "Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest."
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino outlined to Variety the strategy for the large concert promoter is to focus all their energy on summer 2021.
“So over the next six months, we’ll be starting slow and small, focusing on the basics and testing regionally. But whether it’s in Arkansas” — which he may have mentioned because a socially distanced concert is scheduled there for May 15 — “or [another] state that is safe, secure and politically fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fan-less concerts with broadcasts and reduced-capacity shows, because we can make the math work,” he continued.
“There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do higher-end theaters or clubs. So you’re gonna see us [gradually reopening] in different countries, whether it’s Finland, Asia, Hong Kong — certain markets are farther ahead [in the recovery process]. Over the summer there will be testing happening, whether it’s fan-less concerts, which offer great broadcast opportunities and are really important for our sponsorship business; drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out and we’re having some success with; or reduced-capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors in a theater on a large stadium floor, where there’s enough room to be safe.
“We think in the Fall, if there are no second hotspots, you’ll see markets around the world [reopening] — Europe, specifically, has talked about opening up 5,000-plus [gatherings] in September. And on the venue side, we’re dealing with federal, the White House, every government body you can imagine, and we’ve got a great task force around what we have to do with the venue to make you safe.
“So I think in the Fall you’ll see more experimenting and more shows happening in a theater setting, into some arenas. And then our goal is really to be on sale in the third and fourth quarters for 2021 at full scale.”
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