From Closing Indie Venues to Rethinking Annual Festivals, COVID-19 Is Changing How We Experience Live Music

Photo Courtesy: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the number of record-high days for case counts in the United States has also increased. In the wake of the initial record-breaking days that took place in late June, the San Francisco-based music festival Outside Lands announced that folks could buy three-day passes to its 2021 lineup, which will potentially be headlined by some of music’s biggest names — Lizzo, Tame Impala, The Strokes, Kehlani and Vampire Weekend. However, as the pandemic continues to necessitate event rescheduling, it’s near-impossible to assess if even that game plan is too optimistic.

While some states started their slow phased reopenings, others postponed their phased reopenings in favor of taking things even slower. Of course, some states are barreling ahead — Florida is even reopening theme parks — only to see cases spike, especially when masks are a mere suggestion instead of a mandate. Needless to say, our ability to enjoy live music — particularly because the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry are likely to last at least until winter, if not longer — is up in the air. And it may remain there for the foreseeable future.

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