The current pandemic has brought the world to a complete stand-still, especially the music industry, as authorities and governments have banned large crowds and gatherings. What was considered entertainment before, concerts and festivals are now seen as some of the most dangerous places that could aid in the spread of the virus. Thus, some of the coolest music festivals to attend in 2020 have been postponed or canceled entirely. Unfortunately, what makes it worse is the uncertainty of the situation. Without a vaccine, authorities are forced to develop contingency plans up until 2021. According to the LA Times, the concert industry is expected to lose $9 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The following is a complete list of some of the most awaited concerts and festivals all over the world that have been canceled or postponed:
Events canceled in the festival industry
The biggest festivals in the UK, including the 5-day Glastonbury event and Download, have been canceled, while the infamous month-long festival in London, Meltdown, has been moved to 2021. The same is the case with Coachella. The music and arts festival hosted in the US attracts celebrities and individuals from all over the world for a weekend of entertainment. It was previously scheduled to be held on March 10 but has now been postponed to begin on 9th October – that is if the situation improves by then. Similarly, the Tomorrowland Winter festival was scheduled to be held on March 5 and has now been canceled this year. Educational events like the Oxford Literary Festival were also postponed or canceled in countries all over the globe in an attempt to control the spread of the disease.
Events canceled in the concert Industry
Justin Beiber posted an official statement on Twitter regarding his Changes Tour set to begin on May 14, citing that reschedule dates would be announced later. Similarly, Luke Bryan delayed his album to debut in August while rescheduling his tour to start on July 10. However, currently, the situation remains grave with little to no hope of changing soon. Other singers like Camilla Cabello have canceled their entire world tours. The list of artists goes on as their managing teams have postponed all further events as per government notices. Even the iHeart music radio awards have been canceled as the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angles remains shut in an attempt to minimize crowds and contain the spread of the virus.
The predicted effect on industries
The question of when the world will open for festivals and concerts again remains unanswered. However, according to the governor of California, events within the state are likely to be pushed back a year or even more. California has so far one of the best responses to the coronavirus with the least number of deaths as compared to other states in the US. Similarly, Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angles, announced that all sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings are unlikely to be approved until next year. Healthcare experts are also backing these statements as Zeke Emanual, a bioethicist and professor of healthcare management from Chicago, stated that people shouldn’t expect concerts to resume until late into 2021.
Moreover, the increasing uncertainty is leading ticket holders to demand refunds from event managers as many paid hundreds of dollars to attend; thus, causing major losses to event organizers. Another debate that was brought up was whether it was safe to conduct events while maintaining social distancing measures along with protective equipment. While this was taken into consideration before, new research brought to light the fact that the virus can be transmitted through the air as well – making individuals and governments increasingly wary of events attracting crowds. This leads many to believe that social distancing measures will remain necessary in the near future even after lockdowns are lifted – especially without the presence of a vaccine. Some event managing companies plan to host events with a limited number of people wearing masks, gloves, and other protective equipment once restrictions and bans on events are removed as it will be a gradual process before life goes back to normal.
How industries can minimize the impact
Some industries like pharmaceutical, food, and those that rely on online business operations remain unaffected – with some even seeing a boom in sales as life has shifted to digital methods of communication. However, the music and entertainment industries were one of the hardest hit and will inevitably suffer severe losses as a result of this pandemic. Fortunately, there are some measures that businesses can take to remain profitable and come out of this crisis stronger:
With the increasing competition of artists and labels in the industry, entertainers are expected to be more interactive and provide a more personal experience to fans in order to retain their loyalty. One of the most effective ways to do that is to go live on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
The pandemic is forcing individuals to stay inside their homes; as a result, suicide rates have shot up in many parts of the world. Artists can use their love for music to connect with fans and help them get through this difficult time by hosting live shows on social media safely. They can also use this opportunity to host Q&A sessions with their fans as another fun way to kill time and increase interactiveness. This will help in increasing the goodwill of artists and labels and make sure fans remain enthusiastic about concerts and festivals in the upcoming year.
A huge debate about this issue has been circulating recently. Some events that have been postponed till October have not offered cash or ticket refunds so far in the hope that the situation will improve by then, and the event will take place. However, some attendees are demanding refunds on the basis that there is no certainty of whether the event will be held or not, and with the majority of British citizens facing unemployment, events and festivals are their last priority. In accordance with the UK government guidelines on lockdown, event ticket platforms like Ticketmaster have changed their terms to entitle ticket holders to full refunds of the face value of the ticket only if the event has been canceled. However, if ticket holders bought tickets from parties other than the official seller, they are not entitled to a refund. An event organizer’s job is to ensure those ticket holders receive refunds as soon as the event cancellation is confirmed or provide the necessary steps involved in attaining a refund. This puts customers at ease and creates long term trust, which will ensure that they purchase from the brand in the future as well. All industries, citizens, and governments are in this crisis together, but what differentiates organizations from one another is how they handle it to ensure long-term profits and relationships with customers. For now, both the music and entertainment industry will see a recession for the next year or so as 2021 is the earliest time they are expected to start up again, if not longer.