Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all large public events have been canceled and since then, people have been scrambling to find a way to hold gatherings like sports and concerts during COVID-19. Several methods have been attempted since the start: socially distanced concerts, drive-in concerts, and live-streamed concerts.
Social Distanced Concerts During COVID-19
The most controversial of the ways artists and promoters have attempted to have concerts during COVID-19 is to have socially distanced concerts. These attempted concerts had venues cut to 80% capacity or less to allow for assigned seating where attendees were placed over 6 feet apart, face masks were required at all times, bathroom capacity was limited, and temperatures were taken upon entry. One of these concerts was conducted in the United States in May of this year and another attempt at a socially distant concert was performed in the UK this month. These concerts had massive cautionary measures taken, but are still a point of controversy as there is no guarantee of safety for attendees because of the volume of people.
Drive-In Concerts During COVID-19
Several artists with large audiences have also begun performing drive in concerts where fans drive near the stage in assigned parking spots. These concerts either have fans tune in with the FM radios on their cars or listen through a standard concert stereo system with the windows down. The different venues have different methods of managing “seating” with some venues organizing fans by the size of their cars with smaller cars in the front or selling tickets by section.
Live Streamed Concerts During COVID-19
The previous two options can work fine for artists with the means to hold such an event and the audience to make a profit from them, but what about smaller artists? Most smaller artists, such as bands in the metal and hardcore music scenes, have started doing live-streamed concerts due to their much lower production costs and ability to receive donations during the performances. These artists have either done at home sessions or performed live at empty venues for a live-streamed audience.
No Replacement For Live Music
While these alternatives are nice to have as a fill-in, none of these can replace the experience or the profit margins of pre-COVID-19 live music and artists will likely be struggling until regular concerts are safe to hold.