Earlier this week, health experts made a harrowing prediction: because of the coronavirus pandemic, live concerts won’t return until “fall 2021 at the earliest.” As they reason, without a vaccine (which is still 12-18 months out), mass gathering events are far too risky.
As it turns out, these health experts aren’t alone in their thinking: the mayors of the country’s two largest cities, New York and Los Angeles, say live events such as concerts are “difficult to imagine” until 2021 (via Billboard).
Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said he’s “got to see in my city real steady progress, even to start to think about relaxing some of those social distancing standards even a little bit.”
“I want to get people back to work, of course. I want to get kids back to school,” De Blasio added. “But I think it will take months to go through that whole sequence. And the last thing I want to do is gather 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 people in one place, that’s like the exact opposite of social distancing.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made similar comments to CNN later in the day. “Until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention, or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
Meanwhile, J.B. Pritzker, the Governor of Illinois, suggested he may unilaterally cancel all large-scale events taking place through the summer — which would include Chicago’s Lollapalooza. “I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events,” Pritzker noted. “From my perspective today, I do not see how we are going to have large gatherings of people again until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away. I would not risk having large groups of people getting together anywhere. I think that’s hard for everybody to hear, but that’s just a fact.”
So, for now, it appears artist-based livestreams are the closet thing we’re going to get to live music.