Music Industry

New survey: COVID-19’s impact on live music events in Canada. You should probably read this.

Music Canada, the organization that monitors and lobbies for the Canadian recorded music industry, commissioned a study of 2500 Canadians to determine how COVID-19 is affecting the way we consume music.

Here are some general findings to set the table:

  • Worry over the virus is declining. As of May 11, 30% of Canadians say they’re extremely/very worried about COVID-19. We’re also seeing a downward trend in worry.
  • However, 69% of us are concerned about a second spike of the virus later this year.
  • 51% say that it will take six months or more for things to get back to normal.
  • 54% think that COVID-19 will “really change how I live.”

Now let’s look at music in general.

  • 55% of Canadians say they love music. Another 36% says they like it. I don’t know what the last 9% are thinking.
  • 31% are watching more online content from musicians
  • 35% are listening to more music
  • 31% are watching more music videos
  • 24% are watching more recorded live concerts.
  • 78% say that listening to music relieves stress
  • 43% say they discovered new artists during the pandemic
  • 55% are thrilled with all the new online content they’ve found about music and their favorite musicians.
  • 79% say that digital experiences are okay, but they can’t replace the real thing.

Well, what about live music?

  • 24% said they will “probably never” go back to a bar or pub for live music once all physical distancing restrictions.
  • 21% will “probably never” go to a small venue for a concert, while 26% won’t be going to a large venue and 25% won’t ever go to a festival again.
  • Going to a concert in the US? 50% say “No way. Ever.”
  • 58% say that the cancellation of concerts makes them feel worse about the pandemic.

What can we learn from all this data?

  1. We’re worried about the impact of COVID-19. Digging into the numbers, live music lovers are extra worried.
  2. Those who love live music really, really miss going to gigs, but fears of COVID-19 may keep them at home, even when given the all-clear.
  3. Until a vaccine is found, live music lovers won’t feel comfortable, even if there’s testing.
  4. There’s a big difference between being able to do something and feeling comfortable doing it.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38134 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “New survey: COVID-19’s impact on live music events in Canada. You should probably read this.

  • Interesting that you were able to extrapolate “Until a vaccine is found, live music lovers won’t feel comfortable, even if there’s testing.” from the data, since that specific question didn’t appear to be asked. I’m reading that people miss live music, but aren’t comfortable enough to go to a gig. The fact is, this virus isn’t going to vanish, at least not in a reasonable amount of time. We have to learn how to live with it, just as we have done with many illnesses. Vaccines are great, but what if they can’t find one to manage all of the strains? What then? We have to learn how to manage with it. This virus doesn’t kill everyone. It doesn’t kill MOST, for that matter. So while I understand your points, I think stretching data to make sweeping, broad statements as you’ve done here (unless of course there was actually a question specifically asked about when someone might feel comfortable attending, in which case, it’s a shame that data wasn’t included) does absolutely NOTHING to calm fear. That’s disappointing.

  • I’ll still go to a concert. Nothing makes me happier in life than music. Live performances give me excitement and things to look forward to in life. If people don’t want to go to concerts anymore, I understand. But musicians who perform concerts to make a living should still do it, and concert attendees and venues should take as much precaution as reasonably possible (seat distancing, wearing masks) to protect each other. GA shows/festivals will have to wait till there’s a vaccine, but seated shows can be done safely.

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