When will concerts get back to normal? It might be longer that we think.

It seems like it’s been decades since we’ve been able to go a concert, a festival, or even catch a set at the local club. And it may be a while yet.


  • The mayors of both New York and Los Angeles believe that concerts won’t be even return until sometime in 2021.
  • Another health care professional feels the same way about festivals, saying that 2022 is more realistic.
  • Dr. Fauci, no doubt under pressure from Donald Trump, thinks that sports can return this summer but with no audiences and players under quarantine. Fine, but that doesn’t look good for concerts.
  • Australian promoters are very pessimistic about attracting international tours. “How many international acts are going to want to come and do two weeks in quarantine?”

And then there’s this (Via Music Ally) from Scott Cohen, who is Warner Music Group’s chief innovation officer for recorded music.

“With this Covid-19 disruption, is this doing to the live industry what the Napster disruption did to the recorded music industry?” said Cohen, during the discussion. “The recorded music industry was going along just fine and then outside forces – as in illegal downloading – happened, and it was like… How are we going to adapt to this new environment? What do we need to do? Covid-19, is this their [the live industry’s] Napster moment to say ‘Alright, how are we going to adapt to this? How are we going to change how we operate, and what things are now gonna stick?’”

Cohen was speaking as part of an online panel last night.

Who’s gonna be the one to figure out how to deal with things in the time of pandemic? Will it be a technologist? Will it be an artist? Will the solution(s) come from out of left field? We’ll see, I guess.

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.

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