For concert and music festival lovers, the last year and a half have been a rollercoaster of uncertainty. Unfortunately, 2020 was the beginning of an excruciating and different reality for all after the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the fear of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, most governments implemented restrictions and lockdowns. Going outside, meeting up with friends was all restricted to a few people. Pubs and concerts were also closed to avoid mass gatherings and the spread of the pandemic.
From March 2020, there was a rise in concert cancellations. The idea of social distancing during the festival did not seem particle at the time. There was no hiding it; the concert and music events were hit hard by the pandemic.
However, recently with Covid-19 regulations and continued progress in the vaccination, nightlife events and music festivals are seeing a comeback. Thus, the culture of music festivals slowly sees a rebound after the pandemic.
In recent months, governments have started easing coronavirus restrictions, paving the way for millions of people going back to festivals and sporting events. Music festivals in 2021 have already seen extensive marketing as they try to recover the losses from the previous year.
Music events in Europe are set to return with a bang, with many countries starting to relax restrictions. Countries like Germany, the UK, Netherlands, and Spain have already begun loosening Covid-19 restrictions, with crowds eagerly waiting for the opportunity to socialize again.
Even in the US, some festival organizers have also decided to go back to the scene. Summer events like Summerfest set on Lake Michigan attract millions of attendees from all over the world. They are supposed to create massive revenue for the struggling industry, despite the scheduling conflicts and cancellations.
Due to health concerns, the potential to surpass the pre-pandemic attendance level does seem impractical at this point; however, the production companies and music marketers are heavy at work promoting new events.
Post-Pandemic Music Festivals
Creativity and innovation have become necessary for most music concert organizers. The mass gatherings and multi-day festivals have to find new ways to prevent or control the spread of Covid-19 effectively. Some of these include:
Going Live Online
With few opportunities to have live performances, event organizers have considered going live online. This was a hit for most events that organizers canceled in the last year. Some music festival organizers have picked up online streaming for some of their summer concerts.
Though the experience might not be the same, the online streaming platforms have made the festivals accessible to all fans while maintaining a certain level of revenue streaming in.
Notably, after canceling its concerts, Tomorrowland took this to a whole new level by creating a digital music festival for anyone who had a ticket. The EDM festival fans were ecstatic after having an immersive VR experience of the event. The digital experience allowed its fans to interact and visit all the concert stages of their choosing and interact virtually.
Change in Terms and Conditions for Music Festivals
Liability has also become a challenge for most event planners. Major music festival organizers have been on the end of lawsuits after attendees got infected with the coronavirus. As a result, many event organizers will try their best to absolve themselves as much as possible to avoid Covid-19 liabilities.
Music festival organizers have adopted specific Covid-19 liability clauses on their website and admission ticket terms and conditions.
An example of these statements is found on Bonnaroo’s website, “By attending Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.” These clauses are not limited to attendees alone but also contracts of all artists showing up for the event.
Vaccination and Negative Covid-19 Testing Certificates
The return of summer music festivals will look different from the usual scene that most concertgoers have become accustomed to before the pandemic. Most events will require all attendees to have proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. The events will also have a rapid Covid-19 test available before entering the concerts to ensure attendee safety.
In the UK, attendees of the first live music festival post-pandemic enjoyed a three-day metal music festival swanned with over 10,000 fans. However, all the attendees had to take a Covid-19 test before the event. The event had few Covid-19 restrictions with no social distancing or the need to wear a mask.
Mask Up and Social Distancing
Other event organizers have made it mandatory for all attendees to wear masks to reduce the spread of the disease. Organizers will have to follow health guidelines provided by the local jurisdiction. Likewise, the event organizers have the right to restrict or implement any regulations to reduce contracting coronavirus.
The use of wristband trackers has also become a popular concept for a lot of event organizers. The bands track and maintain social distance among the attendees. They are fitted with a proximity device that alerts attendees when they break the social distance restrictions.
Outdoor events will become a popular approach to manage social distancing. However, in a bid to reduce the rate of infections, many festivals might see a reduction in their attendee capacity.
Many event organizers have reduced the number of tickets by half or lower. The plan is to restrict the number of attendees or slim down the crowds attending at a time. Event organizers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, have taken it a step further by providing attendees an opportunity to cycle through the festival in groups of 100 for each staged event.
In Conclusion, the cloud of uncertainty still looms for most music events; it is clear that there is a promising horizon for all you concert lovers this summer. Some people may find the new rules and regulations, masks, social distancing, and vaccination as a hustle, while others appreciate the opportunity to finally go out and have a great time with their friends.
With mass events scheduled for the future, vaccination is the only way to ensure the management of the pandemic. And for a lot of event planners, rescheduling of events gives more time for attendees to get vaccinated and reduces the risk of infection.