Concerts and festivals may not return until autumn 2021, healthcare expert warns

Large gatherings such as festivals and sporting events are predicted to be "the last to return"


Words by: Billy Ward

An American healthcare expert has predicted that festivals and concerts will be unlikely to return until autumn 2021, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In a recent video conference discussion, bioethicist and professor of healthcare management Zeke Emanuel commented on promoters rescheduling arts and music events for later in the year, saying he had “no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility”.

“Larger gatherings – conferences, concerts, sporting events… I think those things will be the last to return,” he said.

Music concerts and festivals all round the world have been drastically effected by the spread of COVID-19. In March Glastonbury announced it had halted proceedings until next year, joining a list of outright cancellations including Miami’s Ultra festival who also axed its 2020 edition.

Many festival organisers, however, have gone down the route of rescheduling their events at a later date. Coachella announced it was postponing proceedings until winter time in an attempt to avoid fully axing the Californian festival.

Speaking of when he believed festivals and concerts would be allowed to return, Emanuel said: “Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest”.

Such an extended hiatus from live events could have serious consequences on the music and events industry, with the entertainment sector feeling the full effects of these unprecedented times.

Read the full conference transcript here.

Read next: How is the live music industry coping with the effects of coronavirus?

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