“I don’t think you’re going to find a lot of places that have gaps in their calendar by September,” says a music executive.
“Labor Day weekend it’s going to be regular volume,” Hunt told TheWrap. “I don’t think you’re going to find many sites that have gaps in their schedules by September.”
Rob Ellin, President and CEO of LiveXLive premium live music network, said: “I don’t think you are going to see the tent pole, a Rolling Stone type tour” this summer, as pre-vaccine COVID uncertainty has clouded the ability to do so. long term plans: “It takes time to build them up and go on extended tours with artists and bands of these levels.
But on the bright side, Ellin said pent-up demand serves nimble performers who can take advantage of last-minute bookings and one-stop concerts.
“Small venues, small festivals are booming… the thirst and hunger for music festivals and music events is higher than ever,” he said. “There’s going to be an 18 month to two year boom that’s going to be a lot like the Roaring Twenties.”
A sample of the July 4th weekend deals across the country include Kool & the Gang with fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl, Foreigner at the Treasure Island Amphitheater in Welch, Minnesota, and a multi-performer country music extravaganza at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Some players in the touring industry say that even in a year without a pandemic, some prominent artists tend to avoid tour stops on holiday weekends to avoid competing with fireworks, fairs and events. family.
Hunt said the concert scene is improving faster than expected, but it will be some time before major concert tours resume. Some major artists are not on tour until 2022, including Billie Eilish, who postponed his Happier Than Ever world tour several times as the pandemic progressed. Hunt said fans lucky enough to get tickets to see very popular artists like Eilish tend to postpone their tickets rather than return them, and in the case of comebacks, there is always someone eager to see them. recover.
Hunt said COVID-19 security protocols are rarely strict in outdoor settings, but the level of public comfort with crowds varies widely from city to city and state to state – and even between musical genres, which draw crowds of different ages and attitudes towards vaccines and other COVID protocols.
“It’s still very inconsistent,” Hunt said. “Some parts of the country are opening up at different rates. It’s exciting to be part of the hit, and it’s happening as quickly as possible, but it’s just a flood of information.
Hunt added that the mixture of a postponed tour backlog with last-minute bookings created an unpredictable game of chess on the touring landscape.
“I have a tour that was supposed to be in May 2020 which is now in May 2022, and I booked this tour in 2019,” Hunt said. “It has never been like this in the past. I have a lot of tours that are booked for next summer, over a year in advance, but I also have tours that are booked for September of this year.
A partner in the music department of a large talent agency who asked not to be named predicted that the concert industry would return to pre-COVID levels from late July through August. As examples of concert enthusiasm, he cited Zac Brown’s successful nationwide tour starting in late July, as well as the upcoming open-air Lallapalooza festival in Chicago’s Grant Park (July 29-August 1), which is expected to draw a crowd. of 1,000 people. Lallapalooza 2020 was a virtual event.
The agent also cited an upcoming Foo Fighters tour starting July 17 at the Forum in Inglewood. Tickets for the Forum concert are already sold out.
The Foo Fighters were also part of the “Vax Live: Concert to unite the world” on May 2 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, billed as the first COVID-compliant music event in the United States. The social distance concert allowed 20,000 fans to enter the 70,000-seat venue. Other artists on the program included Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder and J Balvin.
The agent said the live broadcast concerts that flourished during COVID will never replace the real thing.
“I think there is a fantastic amount of demand… not just for the music, but just for the community aspect of the live concert experience,” he said. “And it’s irreplaceable because each audience composition is different. They’re always going to have a different and magical experience unlike a movie, which is exactly the same every time you go to see it.