As the concert and live events industry remains on hiatus heading into 2021, music fans around the country continue to wait for the magical day when music venues and festivals reopen for business. According to the United States’ top health expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, that moment could arrive by later this year if everything goes to plan (fingers crossed).
Fauci took part in a virtual conference hosted by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals over the weekend, where he was quoted as saying, “If everything goes right, [concerts] is will [return] some time in the fall of 2021. So that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience … I think you can then start getting back to almost full capacity of seating. We’ll be back in the theaters — performers will be performing, audiences will be enjoying it. It will happen.”
Fauci and Maurine Knighton (Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation) also spent some time discussing the topic of enhanced ventilation systems and proper air filters at indoor music venues.
“What the performing arts needs to do is to do a little bit more of what the Germans are doing,” Fauci continued in referencing a recent German study of COVID-19 transmission at an indoor concert setting. The researchers found that indoor events had a “low to very low” impact on the spread of the virus as long as event organizers took a proactive initiative on providing sufficient ventilation, safe hygiene protocols upon entry, and limited capacity to start out. The use of masks may also be a requirement starting out until society reaches sufficient levels of herd immunity, which Fauci deemed as 70—80% of the population.
After months of lobbying congress, the live music industry was finally given the assurance of much-needed financial assistance via the Save Our Stages Act as part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package agreed upon by Congress last month. Month’s worth of national lobbying efforts by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) have paid off as up to $15 billion in non-repayable grants will go to benefit independent music venues, movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
[H/T The New York Times]