While states begin to reopen across the country, music fans can look forward to concerts slowly popping-up once again. However, when shows do return, they won’t be the same.
Concerts are usually a freeing experience, allowing music fans to dance and sing among one another, crowd surfing, moshing, and meeting new people. Yet, because of coronavirus concerns, safety measures will be implemented, changing how concertgoers sit and stand, enter the bathrooms, and interact with one another.
One promoter, Damon Hare, books bands at an Atlanta venue. Hare told WSB-TV that while most artists want to head back to the stage as soon as possible, “they want everyone to feel safe first.”
“So, it’s going to be hard to even book shows I think for a while, even if we can open,” Hare said, noting that people within the industry are hoping that concerts will return later this year.
Last week, the Event Safety Alliance announced a 29-page guideline for event venues following reopening. According to the guideline, published by Steven Adelman and Jacob Worek, venues should implement recommendations including hand-washing every hour and sanitizing door handles, faucets, soap dispensers, water fountains, and other facilities around the building. Additionally, venues should create staggering lines throughout the venue and enforce temperature screenings before entering.
Although concertgoers are itching to return to the normal concert atmosphere, the ESA believes that venues should limit close interactions, including moshing and crowd surfing.
“Patrons cannot all stand at the front of the stage like they are accustomed; moshing and crowd surfing are violations of social distancing per se and must be absolutely prohibited during this pandemic,” the recommendation states. “…Even hallways and smoking areas where patrons congregate will have to be monitored to enforce health policies.”
Adelman told WSB-TV that patrons entering the venue will be asked questions regarding their health and why they are perspiring, noting that “it’s getting hot out, so that requires more of an inquiry to find out if you’re healthy enough to enter a crowded place.” Additionally, rather than interacting with employees while buying merchandise or beer, concertgoers will be asked to order items via their cellphones.
“If I were an artist, I would absolutely not put my patrons in harm’s way by asking them to densely pack a stadium or arena,” Adelman said. “I would not do that until there was a vaccine or some other way of ensuring that my patrons would bee healthy and safe.”
Nonetheless, promoters and venues will begin hosting concerts, which Adelman says will work if concertgoers follow guidelines by wearing masks and keeping their distance. In an investor earnings call earlier this month, promoter giant Live Nation said it would test crowdless shows and drive-in movie theater concert tours this summer.