The Set Back...
Much has been said and written about various shutdown orders and reopening schedules across U.S. states. From the start of the crisis to today, there has almost seemed to be no rhyme or reason to many decisions. There is no consistency and for a large part a lack of leadership and coordination. It is now costing us with spikes of cases is some states and an overall rise in the U.S.
We recently wrote about this impact on the live event industry. The failure of adequate quarantines and a lack of smart reopening is setting us back. Eric Fuller recently recommended that the industry quickly learn to change or die.
What does that mean? Well, I can tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean going forward as usual as if nothing has changed. And unfortunately, that is exactly what some music artists have been doing recently.
Country artist Chase Rice was one of the first largest profile artists to catch backlash for playing a live concert. Rice hosted a live concert over a week ago at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. While the venue supposedly reduced its capacity, social distancing and mask-wearing were largely out of fashion in the crowd. Rice also did not take much responsibility in an Instagram apology.
Rapper DaBaby followed this up with a July 4th show at the Cosmopolitan Premier Lounge in Decatur, GA. The footage seems to show that safety measures such as masks and distancing that were supposed to be in place were largely ignored.
These shows and others like them look to be pretty irresponsible. They are akin to packed restaurants and bars. And the crowded beaches. And the large holiday parties. And the crammed tubing rivers. All of which are playing a large role with the backtracking with reopenings.
And that is the depressing thing for the live event industry with these shows from Rice and DaBaby. They are selfish and counterproductive. Not to mention the health concerns which are obviously more important, just the optics of these events happening is setting back the industry and will further delay the return of live events. Artists and promoters will look at these and say it is not worth the risk of further infections as well as the public relations hit to attempt a show.
Now shows will wait even longer until they are even more sure that it is okay to begin, which isn’t a bad thing for safety and the pandemic. But the even better path overall would have been putting together and following smart plans on how to restart events slowly and safely. Rice and DaBaby are robbing us of that chance to get back on track.