2020 has thrown us for quite the loop. The COVD-19 global pandemic has led to changes in life around the world. For those of us who live for music events – whether it is a festival, a concert, or an intimate show – those were abruptly taken away from us. As we have weathered our way through lockdown, quarantine, phased re-opening, and another spike of cases in the U.S., the question hangs on when life will return to normal again.
At the start of the pandemic, events that were scheduled for the spring and summer of 2020 were postponed or canceled to the fall. As it progressed, many were pushed to 2021. With no ending of this insight as a yo-yo pattern settles in, many of us are still hanging onto the hope that things will return in 2021.
Some are beginning to say otherwise. Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger was on The Bob Lefsetz podcast and has a grim outlook on when we may be able to return to festivals and events.
“My guess is late ’21, more likely ’22. I think that this is going to, well, the whole thing is a shitshow…Everybody knows—whether it’s testing or it’s government—it’s too infinite of a well to go down, but in my humble opinion, it’s going to be ’22.”
He continued on to state that events with massive amounts of people, such as festivals, sporting events, and even schools, won’t do well while the virus is present. Considering the nature of this virus and how it is spread, as well as the current lack of a vaccine, this seems to be the reality we are going to be dealt with. While everything this virus had led to is upsetting, life-altering, and all-around unpleasant for many of us, this is something that we have to ride out until it is safe for us to gather again. Geiger continued:
“I know it’s frustrating, maddening and economically destructive, but—ah!—this is bigger than us. And if you study history, things like this have happened in history, have been super destructive to society.”
Thankfully, the music community has come forward to try and fill the spaces and allow us to dance. Virtual events, festivals, and sets have been popping up regularly since March. Recently, drive-in festivals began happening. These allow people to stay within the space of their car with their pod and listen to music from somewhere other than their own home, safely. While Geiger did not seem to be a huge fan of this solution, calling it a gimmick, people within the festival community seemed ready and eager to do anything they could to see music live again. These festivals have popped up in Colorado, California, and other countries around the world. While it isn’t the same as being at a music festival, for now, people will take what they can get.
Hearing that festivals may not be able to return until 2022 is upsetting news. Anything is still possible – months ago, we could not have predicted where we would be now. We are learning more and more about this virus every day, and trials for vaccines are already underway. In the meantime, be sure to be safe and considerate of others out there. Keep wearing your mask (you can get cute rave masks now too!) and staying socially distant. Keep the video chats going and as always, keep the peace, love, unity, and respect alive.