Weekly survey: What are concerts going to be like in the future?

It’ll be a while yet before most of us go to any kind of live gig, but when we do, things will be…different. But how?

Will we all be wearing masks? What form of physical distancing will be informed either by the venue or your fellow fans? Will we need an immunity passport to buy tickets? What’s the future of mosh pits?

I saw a story today about drive-in concerts in Denmark. Missouri is now open for concerts as of today. Ireland is thinking of allowing festivals as early as August.

The new normal for gigs will be strange, uncomfortable and strange. What I want are your predictions for how things will pan out when governments and health authorities and promoters and artists try to start up the concert industry again.

And from the Dept of I-Did-Not-Make-This-Up, we have this new spacesuit decided for concert-goers and clubbers. Read more about it at TMZ.com.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

7 thoughts on “Weekly survey: What are concerts going to be like in the future?

  • May 4, 2020 at 10:40 am

    I expect it will vary by province, state or country but I think hand sanitizer on entry will be common. Front row standing room/mosh pits might be a thing of the past. I think it’s possible that entry, and particularly exiting, might be staggered a bit like an airline boarding call, depending on the venue. Professional sports stadiums already have a large number of entrance/exits. Smaller clubs and venues, not so much and may want to control the exit crush. I doubt many artists will get up close to the fans during the show so there may be very few high-fives or bringing a fan up on stage.

    There’s a potential gold mine here for Band Merch. In addition to your band T’s, now get your official face masks!

    Here’s another important question. If ticket prices remain high and we see these types of extra measures implemented, will people still want to go? Perhaps the future is a smaller venue of loyal health-vetted fans along with a live stream on a paid event or subscription type app?

  • May 4, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I work in the technical production side of the concert industry. I don’t foresee getting back to work until a vaccine is available. International touring is big business, and to that end the lawyers and insurance companies won’t allow themselves to be exposed to the risk of mass infection resulting from people gathering to see a show. Enforcing physical distancing at a concert will be impossible, so they won’t even try. Unfortunately there’s nothing to to but wait.

  • May 4, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Here’s an idea:

    Because it would be impossible to enforce physical distancing at a concert for thousands of people, maybe bands could start by doing residencies in big cities and doing 1 show for 100 people every night. That seems like a small enough number of people to successfully keep apart, and if the band performs 5 shows in that city, that’s a total of 500 tickets sold. It would suck to have to do 5 shows for the income of 1, but it’s a start. Better than not performing at all.

    • May 8, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      Residencies are going to kill national (I’m thinking US – don’t know about the Canadian scene) concert accesibility. I have at least three artists who I see EVERY year they come to Portland, Oregon (reasonbly large city or, even, Seattle (much larger city) and now..they go to San Francisco and spend anywhere from three days to three months doing shows at one place. No more shows north of San Francisco EVER. This started about three years ago and I’m just seeing it spread as I receive those artist in residence show announcements. I can’t afford to fly to SF for every band I like. I can’t make the long drive to SF healthwise and costwise. I get concert announcements from Vancouver BC to Southern California. When bands no longer play a healthy US tour or even a limited yet hitting most large cities tour, my concert life is going to hell in a handbasket.

      I truly have zero idea how I’m going to make it to Fall of next year. To lose more and more of the artists I like to residencies would be a death knell for me.

  • May 4, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    With summer approaching, we might be able to experience social distanced outdoor shows, but I think that’s about it for now. I like the idea of multiple small shows.

  • May 5, 2020 at 12:33 am

    General admission shows—or non-seated open spaces—will be no more. It will be much easier to enforce social distancing at seated venues.

  • May 8, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t know if this has been in the newsletters at all, if I’m on my phone, I don’t always see everything so clearly as on my laptop.

    I’m not a live nation fan but I love the ideas:


    a sub-set is:

    I want to do THIS: https://www.nme.com/news/music/german-club-holds-drive-in-rave-to-circumvent-coronavirus-restrictions-2658551

    The germans have always been exceptional when it comes to progressive music -and now thinking progressively re musical events.


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