COVID-19 hit every area differently, and each place is dealing with the virus in different ways. For the most part, COVID-safe gatherings are still very limited in places with large populations.
Music venues are particularly risky. Packing people inside during a pandemic isn’t exactly an option. For live music fans, it’s been bleak lately. We all miss the energy of the crowd at a concert, whether you’re moshing at a punk show to bouncing along or an indie hip-hop show. None of it can happen during COVID-19.
Some cities are carefully trying out some efforts to bring back live music, while others are still shut down. Below are some of the efforts large areas around the world are trying out. From quieter shows to limited capacity, live music lovers will take anything they can get.
New York City
The Big Apple, the mecca of live music, is still not allowing large crowds, is keeping things outdoors and is prohibiting ticketed events. Live shows at venues still seem like a long way from happening. However, artists are taking things into their own hands and having impromptu, free live shows on the streets for music lovers to get their fix.
Recently, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that art centers and concert venues can reopen this Friday with limited capacity. That sounds fun and, but does Murphy realize how much money goes into putting on a show? For smaller venues paying artists, staff, and rent, this is a surefire way of pushing them towards bankruptcy. It would be more helpful to provide rent forgiveness or some sort of grant to help them stay afloat until they can function in full capacity once again.
Things are really rolling out for this East Coast city, but at what cost? Venues are allowed to open, but no more than 10 people are allowed to be gathered … I guess we’ll just have to wait out and see how productive that’ll end up being.
Most of the West Coast is not doing well. They tried to reopen and things got so bad they had to quickly close everything down again. They’re slowly allowing bars in certain areas to reopen according to risk “tiers” with either only outdoor seating or at a very limited indoor capacity. Generally, throwing live performances in a venue is still completely off the table; however, with CA being a very car-centric area, drive-in concerts have started to pop up.
Cities like London and Bristol are slowly starting to bring back live performances with strong restrictions. Those include smaller capacities, socially distanced setups, and quieter sets. Yep, that’s right. A study says quieter concerts that don’t include many wind instruments, people shouting over one another, or riling up the crowd make it less likely for the virus to spread.
Other Countries in Europe
Italy and Spain suffered early but were quick and strict in preventing the spread of coronavirus and are slowly reopening. They’ve been keeping a close eye on how it’s all been unfolding, however, and about a week ago they announced the closure of venues once again due to a rise in cases.