Live entertainment is back without masks or social distancing

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  • I saw a concert for the first time since the pandemic, and the big crowds proved that live entertainment is back.
  • Live entertainment has been hit hard by the pandemic, with businesses reporting billions in losses in 2020.
  • COVID precautions have helped concerts and theater recover, breathing life into live performances.

Live entertainment has officially returned since the start of the pandemic, and people are eager to see the performers on stage again.

As of March 2020, live events like concerts, musicals, festivals and plays all closed as a result of COVID-19. Companies like AEG Presents and Live Nation Entertainment, which owns the Live Nation promotion entity and ticketing giant Ticketmaster, have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2020, Live Nation reported just $ 1.86 billion in revenue, an 84% loss from its $ 11.55 billion in revenue in 2019, according to its annual earnings report.

While ticket sales are low, ticket retention is high. According to Live Nation, 83% of fans kept their tickets for postponed shows, while 63% kept festival passes. Going forward, Live Nation has allowed performers and performers to require attendees to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID test to participate in rescheduled shows.

In August 2020, only 6% of Americans felt comfortable going to a concert in the United States, according to Statista, but now that the vaccines have proven to be effective, many people are excited to return to the music scene. , of which me.

In September, I attended the Foo Fighters’ 26th anniversary concert tour in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and they put on a phenomenal show. Seeing a band live again for the first time since 2019 was thrilling, and although standing side by side with hundreds of people at first made me uncomfortable, I trusted the vaccine to help me. protect.

Foo Fighters concert in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Foo Fighters concert in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Taylor Rains / Insider


While the show was outside, fans had to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter the arena. It was the only part of the event that reminded me of the existence of COVID, other than that it felt like I was back in pre-pandemic times – there was no plexiglass, little to no masks, and no social distancing as fans stood together in the mosh pit that sings Everlong’s lyrics with legendary Dave Grohl.

No barriers at the bar and employees were not required to wear masks

No barriers at the bar and employees were not required to wear masks

Taylor Rains / Insider


On June 20, the Foo Fighters performed the first full-capacity concert in New York City since the pandemic, signaling a return to some sort of normalcy in Manhattan. The group performed at Madison Square Garden and attendees had to show proof of vaccination to enter the show, according to the New York Times, allowing rock n ‘roll fans without social distancing or masks.

Before the return of live music, artists had to get creative when connecting with fans during quarantine. For example, tech company Redpill VR developed a platform that puts live music in virtual reality, while David Guetta hosted “United at Home” concerts in New York and Miami that aired in direct without a physical audience. Digital theater also made its debut with the virtual production “Hard to Love” from the Blank Theater in Los Angeles.

The Foo Fighters full capacity concert is a sign of life for live entertainment, proving that these events can be held safely with COVID precautions. Broadway, which originally said it was closing shows until April 2020, recently reopened for masked and vaccinated performances. Meanwhile, comedian John Mulaney’s “From Scratch” tour sold out at Boston’s Wilbur Theater in a record-breaking hour in August, according to Boston.com.

While the live events are back, some people are still hesitant to attend. CNBC reported that Broadway ticket sales were slow to pick up, with box office hits Wicked and The Lion King not selling in their opening week. However, according to Market Watch, low sales could mean cheaper tickets and make it easier to get a coveted seat in Hamilton.

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