When will concerts return to normal? There’s a new industry survey of live music pros.

Pollstar, the site that keeps track of the live music industry, reports on the state of the concert industry six months into the pandemic. Here’s an executive summary. (The full report can be found here.)

I quote:

  • More than half of all venue respondents, 54.8%, believe the industry will return “to full capacity” in 2021. 
  • 75.2% responded that they do not believe the [US] government “has given proper consideration to the plight of the sports and live entertainment industry as compared to other impacted industries such as airlines, hotels, restaurants/retail.” 
  • Approximately 60% say they would personally embark on a tour or work a show now if health guidelines are followed (17.6% of those would work unconditionally). 
  • More than 80% expect an increase in cashless/touchless technologies. 
  • More than 72% of respondents expressed “concern about their company’s ability to survive COVID-19.” 
  • Nearly half of those responding said they have received some sort of government assistance during the pandemic.  
  • Indicative of their love for this industry, more than half said they have not considered leaving the live entertainment business and less than 3% have embarked on a new career outside of live. 

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.

One thought on “When will concerts return to normal? There’s a new industry survey of live music pros.

  • September 27, 2020 at 1:51 pm
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    I love Pollstar. They were always a good read (found an enormous stack at a garage sale a million years ago).

    It’s funny how so many of the concerns they bring up and that rank high mirror my own..save for the ones specific to working in the industry – since I don’t. I would like to see a hybrid of livestreams (although I still harbor great doubts about Zoom) and in-person concerts. Some shows, like one I watched last night, I would much prefer to just stream from home and not do a 3 hour trip up and back to see for a 1 1/2 hour show. It’s fun and I leave happy and I get to go places I like and hit up new restaurants and so it is more than just that 1 1/2 hour but I’d rather just watch or listen from home.

    I hope that the people polled are accurate because I’d just about turned the corner in my mind, especially with the new visa changes, that next year was going to be another year of postponements and a probably about a 30-40% cancel rate of shows that I have tickets for now assuming that the visa’s for this year would lapse (no idea how that system works).

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