Safely Performing Live Music During COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, almost all large public events have been canceled or postponed and since then, people have been scrambling to find a way to hold gatherings like sports and live music during COVID-19. Several methods have been attempted since the start: socially distanced concerts, drive-in concerts, and live-streamed concerts.

Social Distanced Live Music During COVID-19

The most controversial way artists have attempted to have concerts during COVID-19 is to have socially distanced concerts. These attempted concerts had venues cut to 80% capacity or less to allow for assigned seating where attendees were placed over 6 feet apart in “fan pods” on separated platforms, masks were required at all times, bathroom capacity was limited, and temperatures were taken upon entry. One of these concerts was conducted in the US in May and another attempt at a socially distant concert was performed in the UK this month. These concerts had massive cautionary measures taken, but are still rather controversial since there is no guarantee of safety for attendees because of the volume of people.

Drive-In Live Music During COVID-19

Several artists with very large audiences have also begun performing drive in concerts where fans drive near the stage in assigned parking spots. These concerts either have fans tune in with the FM radios on their car stereos or listen through a standard concert PA system with the windows down. The different venues have different methods of managing “seating” with some venues organizing fans by the size of their cars with smaller cars in the front or selling tickets by section.

Live Streamed Live Music During COVID-19

The previous two options work for artists with the means to hold such an event and the audience to make a profit from them, but what about smaller market artists? Most small artists, such as bands in the metal and hardcore music scenes, have started doing live-streamed concerts due to their much lower production costs and ability to receive donations during the performances. These artists have either done at home sessions or performed live at empty venues for a live-streamed audience.

No Replacement For Regular Concerts

While these alternatives are nice to have as a fill-in, none of these can replace the experience or the profit margins of pre-COVID-19 live music and artists will likely be struggling until regular concerts are safe to hold.

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