After a yearlong hiatus, people are itching for the chance to get their hands on some concert tickets and listen to live music again. But when concerts return, what are they going to look like? Will they be the same as what we remember?
When Will Concerts Come Back?
Live music was hit hard by the pandemic, affecting everyone from venues, to performers, to roadies. Many concerts and live music festivals went virtual in 2020. Notably, Coachella was postponed multiple times before its eventual cancellation. Even Broadway closed its doors.
As more and more people get vaccinated, we’ll probably see concerts start to make a comeback. Many concertgoers are hoping that live music will start to return in late summer or early fall, but New York officials recently announced that live indoor performances can resume as early as April 2. New York City is celebrating the return of live music with NYPopsUp, a series of live performances across the city. If everything goes well, that’s going to be good news for the live music industry.
What Will Concerts Be Like?
If you’re looking to buy concert tickets, you probably want to know what concerts are going to be like. Throughout COVID-19, artists and audiences have been trying to imitate the experience of live music from a safe distance. Over the course of the last year, there have been drive-in concerts, virtual live-streams and concerts where everyone is encased in giant, plastic bubbles. Artists have been churning out new albums at breakneck speed, since many had their tours wiped from their schedules. After a long hiatus and with lots of new material, they’re ready to get back on the road again. Audiences are ready too. Concert-going is one of the top things that people have missed during the pandemic.
The CDC has weighed in on the best practices that live music venues should utilize when they finally open their doors again. Their recommendations include:
- Social distancing, like keeping concertgoers six feet apart.
- Well-fitting masks for the audience and for staff members.
- Prominent and easily-accessible places to wash or sanitize hands throughout the venue.
- Closing nonessential areas of frequent contact, such as drinking fountains.
- Prioritizing outdoor events, and make sure indoor events are well-ventilated with fresh air.
- Limiting concessions like beverages and snacks, which cause people to remove their masks so they can eat or drink.
Artist meet-and-greets, a former staple of concert-going, will probably be delayed until sometime in 2022, or at least take place at a distance. You most likely won’t be able to get a picture with your arm around your favorite musician’s shoulders.
When it comes to ticket-buying, the early bird gets the worm. Limited capacity concert venues will mean that less seats are available, and shows will sell out faster than they did before. Some artists and venues might make up for the limited capacity by offering hybrid live and virtual shows. There will be a limited number of live audience members, and a virtual live-stream of the concert for fans who are watching from home.
You can also expect a lot of benefit concerts raising money for COVID-19 relief efforts to pop up once live music returns. We’ve already seen a series of successful virtual benefit concerts over the past year, from Lady Gaga’s “One World: Together at Home” to the tongue-in-cheek “Ratatouille the Musical.”
No matter what concerts look like in the future, it’s clear that we all miss the joys of live music, and we’re eager to get back to it. One day, we’ll all be able to enter a huge crowd unafraid. But until then, these small precautions can keep everyone safe and get us back to concert-going as soon as possible.
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What is the first concert you want to see once you can? Let us know in the comments below!