So fun is cancelled for a while…
Gatherings are banned which means the live music industry is closed for business and we’re all missing that luxury we took for granted, going to check out a show. Now thousands of musicians, professional and otherwise, have taken to their bathrooms and kitchens as a sort of stop-gap measure. “Hey guyyyys, I know you’re all stuck inside so I thought I’d play a couple of new tunes for ya.” Sometimes they’re moving, revelatory performances. Others, not so much. We’re all itching to see performers in the venues where they belong again.
What is that going to look like?
Now that our lives have changed so we have to line up 2 metres apart in front of grocery stores to buy food, will the pit still exist? Aside from quimstickin’, there is no more effective way of exchanging bodily fluids than a mosh pit. For arena and stadium shows, when will it be safe to have 20,000 people together in a building again? You’d have to cut attendance by two thirds in order to allow social distancing on a concourse between acts at an arena show. Even when restrictions are lifted and concerts are legal once again, will our newfound germaphobia get the best of us. Live music is a communal experience. If we can’t be intimate, are we better off just staying home and watching Gary sing his new tune from his bedroom?
There is also the matter of the workers who make these shows happen. The public might not be too concerned about the Stones losing touring revenue for a while but there are many thousands of stagehands, sound and lighting techs, drivers etc. that work tour to tour or gig to gig and have seen their industry obliterated. Even when the industry picks back up again, there will be chaos trying to rebook tours and arrange venues.
So what can we do? First thing is first, kill this virus in its tracks now. Don’t lackadaisically follow the restrictions, omitting the ones that get in your way. STAY HOME. Maybe make one quick trip to the dispensary to get a shit ton of edibles, then you’ll be too paranoid or melted into your couch to want to leave your house for days. If we do everything required now, we can get out of this mess soon. If not, life will just be lived at half-mast for good.
When the venues do open up again, what will change? Will we be required to wear face masks to attend? Will half the patrons have their tickets mandatorily refunded to keep numbers down? If border restrictions remain, will we stop seeing acts from abroad? If Axel Rose spits into the audience, will we have him arrested instead of just cheering louder? (?!?!)
I know this brings up a ton of questions without many answers but at this point, we just don’t know. These are the issues venues, promoters, artists and governments are going to have to discuss before reviving the industry. Till then, grab your snacks and pull up your couch to listen to Gary’s new tunes, I hear he has one about hand washing.