The impact that the lockdown initiated to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had on the music industry - and on live music industry in particular - in just a few weeks has already been ruinous. And it would seem the touring business may remain on hold for much longer than expected.
While some bands have been rescheduling for mid or late summer, some other major festivals and events have been postponed to fall or 2021. Metal booking agent Daniel DeFonce of Continental Touring expressed his fears that touring won’t likely be happening again until 2021.
Now, in a recently published feature at The New York Times about restarting the American economy, it seems that even that assessment could be too short-sighted:
Bioethicist Zeke Emanuel - vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania; host of a new podcast about coronavirus, ‘Making the Call‘; and author of the upcoming book ‘Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?‘ - thinks:
“…Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.
Restaurants where you can space tables out, maybe sooner. In Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, we’re seeing resurgences when they open up and allow more activity. It’s going to be this roller coaster, up and down. The question is: When it goes up, can we do better testing and contact tracing so that we can focus on particular people and isolate them and not have to reimpose shelter-in-place for everyone as we did before?”