Concerts Will Be Whole New Experiences When Lockdown Is Lifted
Looking forward to crowdsurfing at your first concert after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted? Think again.
“A few obvious changes will be necessary whenever [general admission] events do reopen,” reads a guide from the Event Safety Alliance (EVA). “Patrons cannot all stand at the front of the stage like they are accustomed; moshing and crowdsurfing are violations of social distancing per se and must be absolutely prohibited during this pandemic.”
The U.S.-based EVA created the reopening guide for event professionals.
It advises that “a cultural change is necessary” for the protection of concert-goers. Face coverings and social distancing will be things fans will have to accept, much like they did with bag-checks and metal detectors following 9/11.
“Transparently showing new sanitary practices will coax nervous people back into public places,” the guide suggests.
Fans will also need to have patience as the process going to and from concerts will require more time.
The EVA recommends staggered arrival times for ticket holders to reduce line-ups.
"Take the temperature of every patron and conduct a brief visual screening for symptoms of fever or infection,” the guide recommends.
Promoters are urged to implement either a no-bag policy or allow only small clear bags to eliminate contact.
Hand washing stations are also recommended at all entrances and access to washrooms will need to be monitored and limited to allow for social distancing.
When the lights come up at the end of the concert, fans may have to exit the venue much like passengers exit an airplane.
“Patrons nearest the exits should leave first, by row or section, in order to clear space for patrons further inside to follow,” reads the guide.
Last month, U.S. bioethicist Zeke Emanuel told The New York Times it will be quite some time before concerts and music festivals are allowed to happen again. "Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest," he said. California governor Gavin Newsom also predicted a slow return to live music events. "The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine," he said.
A study by United Talent Agency and SightX found that only 39 percent of respondents said they will attend an arena or stadium concert or a music festival within the first month after COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
This week, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl penned an essay for The Atlantic in which he offered hope for fans of live music.
“I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to,” he wrote.
“It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other.”