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  • Writer's pictureJim Douglas

COVID-19 Update: When Is Live Music Returning?

Now approaching a year of across the board live music cancellations, some recent updates present a glimmer of hope for the return of concerts in 2021.

Can you believe that nearly one-full year has passed since live music has filled venues worldwide? As record-setting case counts and deaths related to COVID-19 happen weekly, many people worry it may be a long time before their favorite artists can perform again. We worry about that too, but recent headlines have us thinking the return of concerts may be closer than you think. That is, as long as you’re flexible.

In the latest Music Biz News update, host James Shotwell looks at four recent news stories related to COVID-19 and live music’s return. He breaks down how each offers hope to music fans everywhere and urges patience with leaders who are doing their best to make vaccinations available to anyone.

Fauci comments on live music’s return.

Speaking at a January conference held by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked about the potential for live entertainment to return in 2021.

“If everything goes right, this will occur sometime in the fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience,” Fauci said, noting that the return depends upon getting between 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated, according to the New York Times. Along with the vaccination, Fauci said venues and theaters might need to take further safety precautions, particularly if they do not have adequate ventilation.

Outdoor venues will return much sooner.

Live music promoters spent the majority of 2020 trying to find new ways to present live music that are both safe and financially sound. Several methods found success, including pod seating at outdoor venues and concerts held at drive-in theaters. These ideas will continue to be utilized in 2021, with The Caverns in Tennessee and Red Rocks in Colorado already rolling out massive performance schedules.

Miss festivals? Don’t worry; those are coming back (very) soon.

Moon Crush is a brand-new, first of its kind music festival taking place the final weekend in April. The multi-day, socially-distanced event will give fans of Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, and many more artists a chance to see those musicians live in an outdoor setting. Attendees will be staying near the ocean in Florida’s panhandle for the event’s duration, and many safety measures will be in place to prevent sickness. It’s a risky bet for some, but those itching for the festival experience can book their trip now.

Stylish masks are the future of concert fashion.

Razer has unveiled Project Hazel, a new take on N-95 masks that combine safety and comfort to reduce waste, protect people, and make it easier to communicate while adhering to COVID restrictions.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

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