When COVID-19 entered the U.S. scene, state lockdowns went into effect across the country. While not coordinated, they eventually happened for the most part. In order to buy hospitals and governments more time, we were asked to sacrifice.
What did we sacrifice? Businesses were closed some never to return. The stock market tanked. Events were canceled or postponed indefinitely. Travel was interrupted.
The problem now is what did it get us? States are reopening haphazardly. Criteria is not being met. Rules are not being followed. Leadership is absent. Masks are not being worn in crowds. This is all leading to a major relapse in the fight against the virus in the United States. Arizona, Florida, and Texas are the new hotspots. And it is worse than just those three. Connecticut and Rhode Island are the only states reporting a decline in new cases.
This could spell even more major trouble for the live event industry. After the initial shock of cancellations and postponements, the industry started to adapt and pivot to keep things moving. Livestream shows have been happening. Live music moved to drive-in venues.
There are fundamental issues with both of these models though. Livestreaming, while part of the larger technology trend, can never fully replace the atmosphere and connection of a live show and crowd. Drive-in venues require major infrastructure changes that many venues do not have. Additionally, the reduced capacity makes it something that promoters and artists surely do not want to rely on forever.
Ticket on-sales were expected to be back soon with late 2020 and 2021 tour dates providing something for fans to look forward to in the future. Sports were expected to return in Florida bubbles. However, the resurgence of cases and reinstatement of some quarantine measures is threatening to push back the return to normalcy again. The U.S. needs to get its act together as well as hope for treatments, vaccines, and/or herd immunity. If you don’t believe me, Eric Fuller details the dire situation in more detail as well as the need for those in the industry to adapt.