In a new episode of The Bod Lefsetz Podcast published on Thursday, Lollapalooza co-founder and former William Morris Endeavor talent agency global head of music Marc Geiger speaks about his predictions regarding the current state of affairs in the coronavirus-rattled live music industry and when we can expect concerts to return from a realistic business perspective.

The conversation began with an assessment of the current drive-in concert trend, which Geiger referred to as a “gimmick.” Explained Geiger, “Capacity is very small by the time you actually put the cars in. Pricing with a disconnected experience is high, the audio I don’t think can be very good yet in the car. These are temporary, stopgap solutions.”

Continued Geiger, “I think there’s a feeling during what I call the ‘germaphobia economy’ that almost anything will sell because everybody is dying to get out of the house. … For me, it’s not really a great experience, and the economics are broken. People are doing things to do them, not to make a living.”

When asked when he thinks concerts will return, Geiger responded, “My guess is late ’21, more likely ’22. I think that this is going to be… The whole thing’s a s–tshow, you write about it, everybody knows. … It’s too infinite of a well to go down, but in my humble opinion, it’s gonna be [2022]. It’s gonna take that long for what I call the ‘germaphobia economy’ to be slowly killed off and replaced by what I call the ‘claustrophobia economy,’ which is, everyone wants to go out and go back to dinner and have their life and go to festivals and go to shows. And my instinct is, that’s just gonna take a while because you can see, these super-spreader events—sports, shows, festivals … a classroom—ain’t gonna do too well while the virus is this present. … My instinct is, the world has a very long, forced time-out. A lot of people see the positives in it, whether it’s climate, whether it’s pollution, whether it’s traffic, whether it’s nature, whether it’s animals, whether it’s our own beings and taking a pause. I know it’s frustrating, maddening, and economically destructive, but … this is bigger than us. And if you study history, things like this have happened in history and been super disruptive to normal society, so this is a biggie for our lifetime.”

The conversation also touched on the novel concept of insurance for events operating amid the threat of COVID-19. “The insurers are sitting on the sideline because there’s infinite liability,” he noted. “That’s one of many, many roadblocks in the way of restarting this vibrant economy that got put down. There’s probably 20 [roadblocks], when you drill into … all the spacing, the density. Insurance is a biggie, and I don’t know when that comes back, either.”

Regarding whether industry entities can actually survive a two-year pause in live events, Geiger explained, “Look, no matter what anyone says, it’s economically devastating. So, I recognize that, and I don’t think any excuse can be made. If I’m right on the timetable, there’s going to be a massive amount of bloodshed and bankruptcies and it will not be good for the majority of the industry. I think [Live Nation CEO] Michael Rapino is right [about being able to weather the storm economically]. He has a great business when it comes back, so he can borrow against that. I think that people who have access to great credit facilities can survive. Agencies are actually relatively cheap. Michael Rapino’s got a much bigger issue, much bigger staff.”

Related: Survey: 90% Of Independent Music Venues Could Close Due To Pandemic

Responding to a question about how the landscape may change when live music does, indeed, come back, Geiger responded, “Phew… that’s the $20B question. … I think if we’re in the second or third inning of the ballgame in destruction, I don’t know what the game looks like at the end. I think the next six months might be more painful than the last batch, and maybe the next six months after that might be even more so. … I think for people with infrastructure and more overhead and lack of access to capital, it’s a perfect storm for them.”

Listen to the full episode of The Bob Lefsetz Podcast featuring Marc Geiger below:

Marc Geiger Interview – The Bob Lefsetz Podcast

[H/T Consequence of Sound]