by India McCarty

From massive festivals like Coachella to small shows at local bars, coronavirus has effectively put an end to live music as we know it. Sure, there are live streams and YouTube videos of old concerts, but there’s nothing like standing in a crowd of people that all love the same music you do.

The answers we’ve been getting on when we can go to live shows again are conflicting, with some saying fall of this year, while others insist that we should not gather together until 2021 at the earliest. Obviously there is no magic day where suddenly everything will go back to normal; everything’s going to move in stages.

The main hurdle for the live music industry is that it is not considered an “essential business,” so it will most likely be one of the last things that gets opened back up.

And even when we can go to concerts again, will people show up? In a survey done by Performance Research, 56% of respondents said it would take anywhere from “a few months” to “possibly never” for them to return to live shows, even after it is considered safe. A third of the people surveyed went on to say that they plan to attend indoor sports venues and indoor concert venues less often after the COVID-19 epidemic has ended.

The music industry will need to undergo some major changes to keep from going under. With sales of physical albums steadily dropping, live show revenue was keeping the whole business afloat. With that taken out of the equation, how do we keep going? There’s talk of showing proof of immunity or getting a temperature check before being allowed to attend, but with how little we know about the virus, these measures seem premature. For now, it seems that virtual concerts are the new normal.

Whatever ends up happening, it’s safe to say that we will have a pretty long wait. Every expert is saying the same thing: this is a process that should not be rushed. We’ll miss the experience of going to concerts, but our health and safety is the number one priority!

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