Today, July 17, 2020, there was an all-time daily high of 70,254 new coronavirus cases reported. That's new cases reported in a single day. With the amount of cases trending upwards, four months after initial quarantine, we're also seeing all the major festivals and concerts for this summer reschedule to next summer. But according to one major talent agent, they predict things won't be back to "normal" until 2022.
Marc Geiger is the co-founder of Lollapalooza and the former global head of music at talent agency William Morris Entertainment, one of the largest global talent agencies in the world, for not just musicians, but actors, models and artists of all types. During a recent appearence on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast, he was asked when he thought concerts would return and his response was “In my humble opinion, it’s going to be 2022.”.
As for why he thinks it will take one year longer than initially estimated by health experts, “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.”
Geiger added “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 thinks there are "probably 20" roadblocks preventing live music from returning nationally. Besides the obvious of the virus, spacing and density, he points out that a huge hurdle will be insurance and libality. “With [COVID], there’s infinite liability,” adding that it will add incredible risk for promoters to put on shows, and even finding a willing insurer. Currently, no insurance company offers COVID insurance. Geiger notes that some of the larger promoters can likely self-insure, but for independent promoters, they will have to wait longer.
Geiger stresses that this will be economically devastating, and there will be casualties. There is a lot of inside-baseball conversation about lending and who Geiger thinks will survive.
Geiger pulls no punches and believes “the next six months may be more painful than the last six months, and maybe the next six months after that are even more so.”
This is the type of issues an organization like the National Independent Venue Association is trying to warn about, noting that 90% of the independent venues in the country will not make it without federal assistance. There has bee no relief package setup for arts and entertainment venues in the United States. Conversely, in the United Kingdom, they recently passed a £1.57 billion relief package. Last month, the German government offered €150 million worth of grants to arts and entertainment businesses.
As I mentioned early in this posts, bands like Motley Crue, Rammstein, and Rage Against the Machine have already lined up rescheduled dates in the summer of 2021 for their already postponed tours, but with each passing day, it seems there is a higher chance that those dates might also end up being rescheduled.
Over 100 metal artists including Rob Halford, Kirk Hammett, Phil Anselmo, and more recently implored metalheads to wear masks, because no masks, no shows.
You can listen to the full podcast below.
[via Consequence of Sound]