Variety 2021 Music Predictions: Clubs Reopen Summertime Festivals Probably Won’t Happen
Updated: Jan 5
Variety shares their 2021 music predictions. They think big festivals like Coachella get pushed to the fall and some, maybe all, won't be back this year. They think clubs might open this year.
I wonder a few things if clubs are open to very limited capacity.
Will landlords for clubs take less rent?
Will bands take less money?
Will people pay more for tickets? Drinks? Food?
Will people even want to go once clubs are allowed to put on live shows?
For big festival shows...
Can they break even or make money with a limited crowd?
Will the headliners take less money?
Will bands decide the risk (of touring) and reward (of money) isn't worth it and cancel?
Will people want to be in a festival crowd even if the numbers are limited?
How about using those (gross) festival bathrooms?
I know people that think "I've been to a lot of festivals and live shows. No way am I going until I know it is safe."
Maybe the festival business model pivots to a PPV UFC model. Say it is a live event produced for a pay per view audience with a choice of stages to watch and a great sound mix. Maybe some backstage features.
At festival shows I end up watching the video screen anyway so it wouldn't be a big difference other than my video and sound would be better and I hope my bathroom is cleaner!
Speaking of watching events on tv...
How about 2021 sports?
I think baseball opens with no spectators again. Maybe opening up to limited crowds later if at all. Same for NBA NHL and stadium/arena sports and events. I think it will all vary by location. California doesn't seem to be doing well.
Making predictions for as uncertain a year on the music calendar as 2021 involves peering into the murkiest of crystal balls, given how tricky it is to forecast when live music will return in any big or even small way.
Many festivals that already announced dates for 2021 — like Coachella, which is still officially on the books for April — are likely to be looking to reschedule for autumn, but aren’t jumping to declare any new dates yet because they do want to see if vaccinations can stay on track. (Fests in regions of the country with spottier mid-fall weather than the California desert may be in tougher spots.) As for national tours, many major artists may rather play it safe and hold out for 2022 rather than risk putting fans through a second annual round of serial postponements. Club shows will likely come back first — because they can, not needing to put tickets on sales six months in advance like arenas… and because they must, if they can even keep paying the rent until Labor Day.