There have been a lot of questions on when big events and concerts can come back in earnest, post-COVID. Different countries, states, and even cities have had different guidelines concerning re-starting sports games, conferences, and of course, concerts.
Greek Reporter spoke to some of the top Greek artists and an industry insider to get their take on music in a post-COVID world.
For the most part, it seems like audiences are excited to get back to the music events and concerts they love.
A Return to Concerts, Post-COVID
Greek-Australian EDM singer VASSY stated, “I think crowds will gather, especially my demographic. They are ready.”
The excitement to return to normal life doesn’t seem to depend only on demographic range though. Composer and pianist Ioannis Goudelis agreed with VASSY’s point, saying his audiences is “more excited to return than afraid to gather.”
The enthusiasm isn’t just limited to the performers. Diana Rodriguez, CEO of record label Criteria Entertainment, had the following to add: “artists are eager to return to the stage and fans are excited to see them and return.” However, she added that it’s understandable some fans might be more reluctant than others. The return to concert venues will “depend on how safe each person feels”.
The Slow Comeback
Music tours and concerts have already started back up again in many places. However, most still have restrictions in place.
Goudelis and VASSY shared that they have both been booking musical performances. Ioannis has been performing at corporate local functions, while VASSY has booked more public concerts and shows. Goudelis added, “at the beginning there were more requirements but as time goes by they are loosened.”
VASSY’s experience with audiences has been much more relaxed. She says, “there are protocols in place but the crowds don’t abide by them too much. Less capacity, mask wearing, but…once you’re in the club or festival no one cares.”
Almost every artist we spoke to emphasized that protocols and audience caution varied widely from state to state. Diana stated, “protocols…depend and vary on the city, state and federal measures; as well as the individual promoter. We have booked a few shows which required quarantine times, testing, reduced capacities” in addition to normal COVID sanitation protocols.
The industry is also experiencing different comebacks in the US and in Greece. Rodriguez told Greek Reporter, “the US live sector is picking up faster than other countries, due to the vaccine roll out.”
The Future of the Music Industry
Predictions have varied widely as to how the industry will fare in the long-term after COVID. Like many sectors, the music industry, especially live performances, were extremely hurt by the pandemic and associated closures.
However, according to most industry insiders, the long-term prognosis looks good.
VASSY already sees “markets opening up for the summer.” Longer term, Goudelis believes the industry “will bounce back but it will take quite some time.”
Diana of Criteria Entertainment relayed some fo the difficulties for new artists looking to tour, but actually thinks this might be one of the best times for established musicians to perform. “It will be a great time for artists that have strong fanbases to tour…because fans will be eagerly waiting for them.”
“It will be a challenging time for new artists to find big advances and live opportunities”, as venues are seeking to pick up the tours and festival commitments that were cancelled or left on hold for the last 18 months.
Some musical formats might become more prominent than others. Diana is eager to see how the industry may evolve. “Streaming will still be the market leader. It will be interesting to see how virtual performances will evolve in the coming months.”
Overall, it seems the music industry is more than ready and poised for a comeback, with fans eagerly awaiting to return to the crowd, and artists ready to get up on stage.