What will concerts look like post-coronavirus?

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Empty arenas are the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of packed crowds dancing to the newest songs, expect virtual gatherings for at least the rest of the year. Photo by Andrea Junqueira on Unsplash.

The concert industry, which earns billions of dollars in annual revenue, has been one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gone are the days when thousands of fans could gather together in large arenas to watch their favorite artists perform. As cases continue to rise in the United States and worldwide, there is no foreseeable return date set for concerts. 

Most concerts are held in large outdoor venues, big arenas or tightly-packed indoor clubs. Health officials are being overly cautious about permitting events of this kind because they pose some of the highest risks of disease transmission.  

Early on in the pandemic, people were holding out hope that concerts would return during the summer. As the months dragged on, the return date has continually been pushed back further and further, with most concerts now rescheduled for 2021 at the earliest.  

There are differing opinions in regards to when exactly concerts will be allowed to start up, but the general consensus among public health experts is that until there is a vaccine, there will be no concerts.  

Another major question that looms is whether or not fans would be willing to show up. Once concerts and other large events are allowed to take place, there is no guarantee that attendance will be as high as pre-coronavirus times. Many individuals are going to be wary of putting themselves in situations that create a high possibility of contracting COVID-19.  

Logistically speaking, there will need to be strict social distancing guidelines put in place in addition to the implementation of other safety measures, which will greatly impact the number of people allowed to attend. 

With all that being said, concerts are never going to completely go away. Artists are going to continue performing. However, it will look much different than concerts have in the past. 

Many artists are experimenting with hosting livestreamed shows. Even though the atmosphere does not compare to an in-person show, they offer a safer way for artists to continue to perform for their fans.  

Big names in the music industry such as Brad Paisley, Diplo and Phoebe Bridgers were some of the first artists to experiment with this trend.  

In Bridgers’ case, she performed for thousands of fans via livestream from the comfort of her couch in her pajamas. Despite the initial awkwardness that accompanies putting on a concert from your living room, fans seemed to appreciate the opportunity to listen to her music, and there was more opportunity for interaction via live chat.

  

Even though the future of concerts remains unknown, music will continue to serve as a mechanism for uniting people. “One World: Together at Home,” which aired on April 18, 2020, was a benefit concert in support of the World Health Organization. This show is a perfect example of how the music industry has been able to transcend the difficulties of a pandemic and maintain its ability to unite people.  

Check out this link for upcoming live streams and virtual concerts to watch from home.  

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