While most of the world continues to remain on lockdown due to the coronavirus, the live events and festivals stay closed as well. Many festivals have postponed the events to the fall of 2020 while others have return dates in 2021. However, the co-founder of Lollapalooza Marc Geiger believes otherwise. With the United States going back into lockdown mode, the tides have shifted yet again due to increasing COVID-19 cases across the country.
Marc Geiger appeared on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast and provided his feedback regarding the return to festival season. He expects that festivals and live events, at least for the United States, will not return until 2022. Per Marc, “My guess is late 2021, more likely 2022. I think that this is going to be – the whole thing’s a s–tshow, everybody knows…in my humble opinion it’s going to be 2022.”
Musing over the return of live events, “It’s going to take that long for what I call the germaphobic economy to be slowly killed off, and be replaced by what I call the claustrophobia economy, which is everybody 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 it’s just going to take a while. As you can see, these super-spreader events…ain’t gonna do too well while the virus is this present. My instinct is the world has a very long, forced time-out…this is bigger than us.”
The safety of events is mostly certainly in question as well, especially when it comes to insurance coverage which will be difficult to obtain during this time. According to Marc, “Insurance is a biggie. I don’t know when that comes back, either.” Festivals required insurance coverage to protect themselves and guests while on festival sites, as well as providing coverage for certain cancellations and other mishaps.
Due to the cost of hosting a festival and the unprecedented cancellations music organizations faced this year, many are struggling to make it through this time. It is a very real possibility that some of these festivals many not return ever again due to the financial crisis all within the music industry are currently facing. Marc went on to say, “It’s economically devastating. I don’t think any excuse can be made…there’s going to be a massive amount of bloodshed, bankruptcies, it will not be good for a majority of the industry. The economic devastation is going to be bigger than people think. The reshaping is going to be bigger than people think.”
Times ahead are going to be tough as we await the return of festival season. Due to the decline in cases, Europe has officially started their summer season. For Americans and other nations, only time will tell when festivals can make a comeback. In the meantime, be sure to tune into your favorite live stream to show support for the industry!