Say it isn’t so! I’ve been seeing a lot of articles (albeit regurgitations of the same conjecture, no doubt) in the past couple of days regarding the fate of live music this year. Experts believe that, the reality is, we may be unable to attend festivals, large-scale concerts and even small gigs until October 2021. I mean, my jaw’s on the floor at this point — that just can’t be the case.
In real terms though, the fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic is already widespread, and we aren’t even out of the woods yet. So, that does potentially mean that standing in a sweaty crowd of revelling humans again this summer/autumn might not actually be doable.
As much as many events have been rescheduled later in the year (a time that strikes me as sensible), we’re nowhere near a drop in COVID-19 cases. If those being treated in hospital are dealing with severe symptoms of the virus they feasibly contracted about a month ago, it stands to reason we could see no improvement on case figures for another four weeks. Before we know it, even with strict lockdown measures being lifted, we may career through summer still tackling life two metres apart from others. With gigs naturally not being the most hygienic of events, social distancing rules may impede the chances of such gatherings being allowed until restrictions are relaxed further, and perhaps until a vaccine has been produced.
That all sounds like doom and gloom, agreed, but it could sadly be that this isn’t pessimism, it’s just fact. I hope it doesn’t get that far. Artists will feel the same, too. We may just have to settle for the safety of live streams in the interim.
Strange Bones, RIFFFEST #2, Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen