Holding out for Hope: Are rescheduled and delayed concerts, events and tours set to actually go ahead in 2021?
Since Ticketmaster confirmed their plans for vaccine-entry gigs in the new year, with their technology SmartEvent paving the way for a new change, a possible vaccine has become even more likely to be found.
For many of us, the live music industry is their life and is relied upon for their livelihoods.
With many employees not having any work for over a year now, the news of a possible vaccine could mean for the live music workers to lift themselves and start to re-build what was lost back in March.
But as ever, the live music industry is not just built from one solid bedrock, and it most certainly isn’t an industry that can start up at a moment’s notice as if nothing ever happened.
With the live sector and events industry formed with many cogs in many different machines, there will not only be more procedures in place to ensure COVID-friendly performances and events- which will take ample time to organise I’m sure – but there is also the case of dusting off the cobwebs of procedures that were already in place.
From shows to be booked, tickets to be sold, the usual itineraries to be post-marked and with many organisations being so out of practice from the game for a while now, I don’t necessarily think that starting up will be easy as many music lovers believe it – and wish it – to be. We have seen this at a smaller scale through not only local small venues, but also in pubs and restaurants across the UK during the initial lockdown in March.
I mean, we’ve already seen changes to be placed for future ticketmaster events …
With the slow start beckoning from the industry itself, we also need to support the full force of the army of workers to encourage them to return to work on a promise that this time, their plans won’t be cancelled. And if that is to be case, let’s not leave behind them again like we did last time, eh?
“Whenever live shows come back, things will probably not return to the same level immediately. So the industry should start building a long-term recovery plan, to get all parts of the ecosystem in a place to play their role.”
– Music Week, 2020
With the extension of furlough temporarily relieving the worry of no income for the struggling music retail and live sectors for a while longer than anticipated, a hope of a vaccine will allow for the workers within the sector to not only stop having to rely on the Government’s funds to bail them out, but to also pay their own way with set plans in place for gigs to actually happen, all the while preventing further event cancellations in 2021. Now extended for a further five months, the scheme will pay up to 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month.
With the prospect of “normality” at our finger tips for 2021 – just in time for festival season too, might I add – we will have to look forward to an entirely new foundation when it comes to booking our tickets to see our favourite artists next Summer.
Forecasts of change are on the horizon, and we as fans are more than ready for it. Question is, will the industry be too?
“Be it through the £5.2 billion it generates for the economy, the 190,000 jobs it sustains across our country, or the symbol of British exceptionalism it broadcasts around the world, the music industry is one of our most important national assets – and something we should all be hugely proud of … ”
-Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music Chief Executive, via musicweek.com