The coronavirus pandemic has caused ripples across the entire music industry as artists and other industry professionals handle the massive cancellations caused by the resulting world wide pandemic. Large ticketsellers such as LiveNation have seen their stock drop by 50 percent in the wake of the outbreak, while other companies such as SXSW and the Paradigm Talent Agency have faced massive lay-offs in recent months.
According to bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, a vice provost for Global Initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, large gatherings such as sports games and concerts might not return until the fall of next year, 2021. Emanuel recently addressed the issue during a New York Times panel alongside several other health experts.
Emanuel suggested that reopening the economy should happen in stages, adding that workplaces need to enact social distancing measures to protect those who are at lower risk for contracting the virus. He explained that while restaurants may be able to handle social distancing policies, large gatherings will take longer to return.
“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner,” Emanuel explained. “Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
This sentiment matches other assertions made by agents within the music industry. Earlier this week Daniel DeFonce, an agent for Continental touring which handles acts such as Deicide, Misery Index, Aborted and Fleshgod Apocalypse, stated that concerts are unlikely to return until next fall.
Photo Credit: Mehreen Rizvi