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Tough times ahead

As many European governments have now banned mass gatherings until at least the end of August, the whole summer tour schedule is now in jeopardy. Hellfest, Graspop, Clam Live, and Lovely Days festivals are now officially cancelled, with a whole bunch of others (we predict) to follow in the coming days.

Worse, there are indications that the ban on mass public gatherings, including live music and sports events, may extend until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, which is 12 to 18 months away. As Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, has put it:

If 1% of the population has COVID-19 and half are asymptomatic, that’s 250 people in a stadium of 50,000, all touching chairs, eating food, talking and jumping and shouting. Is there is a better place for spreading disease? Going back to those situations, for all of us who love concerts, it’s hard to see how to do that without a vaccine.

We’ll begin opening up with social interactions while wearing face masks. If we’re probably bending the top of curve, [that’s] four to six weeks at the absolute earliest. […] maybe you can later have a venue of 2,000 people where you put in 500 and spread them out with masks and protection. But you’ve got to vaccinate 70% of the population to get back to pre-COVID, and you may have to shut down some businesses that reopen. It’s a roller coaster, and you want those hills to be as gentle as possible.

And Dr. Emanuel, besides being a world class expert in epidemiology, probably knows about entertainment industry a bit more that your average Joe Schmoe — his brother Ari is such a prominent figure in the entertainment business that he was parodied as the characters played by Bob Odenkirk on The Larry Sanders Show and by Jeremy Piven on Entourage.

So there you have it — brace yourself for a year without live music. The implications of this will be enormous. Live performances became the main source of income for most musicians ever since the rise of the internet pulled the carpet from under the recording industry feet. Now with this source of income also gone, many may just give up — those who can afford to retire, will retire, and those who can not will seek another means to support themselves and their families. This will cascade down to the supporting staff and infrastructure — road crews, managers, agents, promoters, venues, etc, etc. The music industry will most certainly not be the same when it emerges on the other side.

Being married to your singer all of a sudden does not seem to be such a bad idea after all, does it? 😉

Thanks to andreas leutgeb and Blabbermouth for the info.

6 Comments to “Tough times ahead”:

  1. 1
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Wow…. Has anyone anywhere got any good news at all?!
    BTW if red and white grapes are picked up by hands in the fields then it’s most likely that you can get the corona virus sipping on wine.
    We all doomed.
    Take care and don’t let your partner even come near you before they wash their hand and wear a mask in bed.

  2. 2
    Andrew M says:

    Pay per view? As they do with big fights. Not the same as being there, obviously, but better than watching a show recorded years ago.

  3. 3
    Dora M. Frasca says:

    Meglio così

  4. 4
    Philippe Pomiès says:

    Bonjour, et les concerts – comme par exemple celui de Paris (scène musicale) – sont-ils annulés ? Protégez vous bien…

  5. 5
    Yvonne says:

    As can be expected, the Brits just never lose their sense of humour. So, boys and girls, get your string tangas out in case you haven’t got a mask… :-)))


  6. 6
    Paul Kingham says:

    If this is the end of concerts for 12 – 18 months and possibly for all time for some of the elder statesmen still performing, I will always be thankful for the many times I have seen Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow and Glenn Hughes along with the many spin off bands such as Paice, Ashton and Lord, Ian Gillan Band, Gillan etc.

    Thanks for the memories they will never die.

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