The future of festivals and concerts is still uncertain – but organisers hope shows will resume by the end of 2021.
If 2020 had one saving grace, it was the music. Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga spirited us out of lockdown to an alternate universe where sweat-glistened club nights weren’t terrifying vectors of disease; while Drake and Phoebe Bridgers helped us process our feelings.
So what does 2021 hold? Predictions are a fool’s game in the middle of a pandemic – but here are a few suggestions.
1. Virtual gigs will become more ambitious.
The early days of lockdown were a voyeur’s wish come true, as the world’s biggest pop stars invited you into their living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms to play some tunes (highlight: The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts playing drums on his armchair). By the end of the year, the productions had become a little more ambitious.
2. Concerts will come back… but not as we know them
Depending on who you ask, live music will be back by Easter, or maybe the summer, but it could be the end of the year. And even with a vaccine, it will be a while before tours can go back to normal.
While bands like Steps and Little Mix have announced arena shows for November, others, like Nick Cave, have already cancelled their 2021 tour plans.
Initially, at least, social distancing will be enforced at indoor venues, with enforced one-way systems to the bar and toilets.
Rapid turnaround Covid-19 tests at festival gates is another prospect, although the idea isn’t foolproof. Other proposals include thermo scanners, spraying fans with a disinfectant “fog” as they enter a venue, and interactive wristbands that vibrate to indicate a lack of social distancing.
Ticketmaster has also been looking at whether it is possible to link digital tickets to your vaccine status or a negative Covid test through a smartphone app.
However, the company stressed it could not enforce such measures – which would be enacted at the discretion of the event organiser.
In preparing the news, material BBC was used.