We hate being the bearer of bad news, but it does not look like concerts are coming back this year at all. We have been following all the latest reports on the industry to keep you up to date and a new piece in the New York Times doesn't make things look good. The paper of record reached out to many top promoters in various entertainment industries and all of them have basically given up on 2020.
The consensus seems to be that just because a local municipality will allow them to reopen, they might not have the means to safely do so, especially in large concert settings:
“The country’s biggest stages have yet to declare their plans, but they are rapidly reaching a consensus on a go-slow approach, even if they receive government permission to reopen. At their scale, it is even more difficult to protect patrons when seats are tightly packed and there are choke points at entrances, lobbies, aisles, concession stands and restrooms. Backstage quarters are typically cramped, and productions often involve intimate onstage action and aerosolized respiratory droplets.”
The president of Live Nation entertainment could not even commit to a start up date. “While we think that phenomenal strides are being made in both cases,” Mr. Berchtold said, “given the lead time involved in planning major concert tours, and the uncertainties that exist today, we don’t expect a large volume of major tours in the fall.” In an article last week in WSJ, he's quoted as saying “2020 is gone—so is half of 2021. The hope is that we will have a big summer season in 2021.”
The chairman of AEG Presents, Jay Marciano, offered a similar quote saying “It doesn’t seem likely we are going to open in the fall.”
Rick Roskin, an agent with the Creative Artists Agency, one of the top agencies in the country says his company has also thrown in the towel on the year “For the artists we represent, we believe it’s safer to move to 2021.”
A report last week noted there will be a heavy focus on sanitation and health checks. There will be temperature checks upon entry. Face masks and testing stations will become the norm of the concert experience for a while. Hand-sanitizer stations will be everywhere, with American Airlines Center COO Dave Brown noting “You’ll be tripping over them.”
One thing is for certain, moshing and crowd surfing won't be allowed for quite a while, and we're most likely going to have socially distanced concerts for the forseeable future, until there is a vaccine.