Leadership / 09.29.21
Can Live Music's Big Return Survive the Delta Variant?
Los Angeles Magazine (09/21) Appleford, Steve
The delta variant of COVID-19 has perturbed a live music industry that was banking on a return to normality after a long season of pandemic-related inertia, with a cascade of shows delayed or canceled due to infection risk, or as artists and venues snipe over safety requirements. Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl had to reschedule a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles in July when a band associate tested positive for the virus. Lead musicians of Kiss Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, both fully vaccinated, also got infected and several shows were postponed. By August, club-level L.A. promoters were seeing 30% no-shows by fans who booked tickets but stayed home. Although tickets to concerts catering to fans under 30 have rebounded, older audiences remain cautious. "What we haven't determined yet is: are ticket sales slow because of requiring vaccinations, or are they slow because we're not requiring vaccinations?" said Paladin Artists agent Andy Somers. The termination of pandemic unemployment insurance has left many independent artists with no option but to tour. "It's like Russian roulette," said Dimitri Coats, manager of reunited punk band the Circle Jerks. "Some musicians are saying, we've got to make a living, and we're going."
Read the full story from the Los Angeles Magazine.
Tags: Music , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus