Will Music Festivals Ever Come Back?
The question of whether music festivals will come back is a nagging one for live entertainment enthusiasts. While many believe that outdoor music festivals are less dangerous due to the lower risk of COVID-19, others question whether indoor festivals can compete with outdoor events. If the answer is no, what are the solutions? A few potential solutions include a change in festival regulations regarding vaccinations, as well as more cost-effective ways to vaccinate acts.
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COVID-19 threatens the live music industry
With no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus, the live music industry has been ravaged. Gigs and tours have been the lifeblood of middle-class bands and independent artists. Gigs and tours have been severely disrupted by market power. Without government support, hundreds of independent music venues have closed and over 90 percent of owners said they would close their doors. Even if the upcoming COVID-19 pandemic subsidy goes through, the equity-generating potential of live music is already at risk.
Outdoor music festivals are less at risk of infection
While many countries have banned mass-gathering events such as music festivals, more have begun holding them. These events are not immune from the risk of spreading infectious diseases. A recent study found that attendees at two outdoor music festivals in Catalonia, Spain, were less likely to contract a disease than a population-based control group. That means more people are at risk of contracting the disease – but fortunately, the risks are not as high as they used to be.
Vaccination/negative test requirements at large festivals
Several large music festivals have recently announced new requirements for entrance. One festival, Outlaw Music Festival, requires a COVID test and proof of vaccination for the public. Several other large music festivals are following suit. Most large live events in the fall will require attendees to have a negative COVID test and full vaccination. Other events may adopt similar policies depending on their business guidelines or concert promoters and venues.
Cost of vaccinating acts
The government must require vaccinations for all music festival attendees to protect their health and well-being, say two leading festival directors. Since the introduction of the government’s roadmap last month, festival tickets have been selling in record time. Independent festival organizers met in an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the issue. They are hoping to secure government insurance cover for cancellations and win the next round of recovery grants. However, the cost of vaccinating acts at music festivals remains a major obstacle.
Safety protocol at smaller festivals
Smaller music festivals may not be as obvious as major festivals, but they are just as important to maintain. Health and safety protocols can differ greatly from one event to another. While it is important to maintain a high standard of safety at larger festivals, smaller events can avoid the pitfalls of major events by following basic protocols. In addition to identifying risks and implementing precautions, smaller events can also follow safety protocol that complies with local laws and regulations.