In the midst of a pandemic it may seem short sighted to say that live entertainment is not going away any time soon, but in fact, It is really more long sighted than anything. It is simply a matter of learning from history. Music and entertainment are woven through the fabric of every crisis and challenge the US and in fact the whole world has ever been through. Like nature, it may be held back or perhaps have its course altered, if not just temporarily, but it always emerges and lives.
It is true that during the height of Covid-19 live music and other types of entertainment really can only happen under a very specific set of circumstances in order to comply with the safe guidelines. Even with those limitations, where people are following the strictest of guidelines it has found ways to let us know it is still there.
Over the last months we’ve seen very creative ways of presenting live performances. Anything from widespread virtual shows to amazing live events where, for instance, at a drive-in theater the band is on stage, even socially distanced from one another, as the audience stays in their cars and listens to the performance on their car radio. We saw instead of a crowded tree lighting ceremony at the local mall an event that became a sort of reverse parade, with guests driving through route waving at Frosty, Rudolph, Santa, Mrs. Claus (singing & playing guitar, no less) along with musical groups, stilt walkers, laser lights and more. Festive and fun but a whole new way of providing family entertainment in a safe way.
Some Things Must Change
Experts tell us, some things will change forever. This is not to play into the hands of those who sadly believe this will never go away and things will never be good again. Some things will change forever, for the better.
There have been a lot of new ways in which business has been done in 2020. Offices have in large part moved to a Work-From-Home model. It turns out that in many ways it has worked very well. Companies may, going forward, need less physical office space. They might be able to go to a hybrid version of WFH and work in the office. Person to person collaboration cannot always be replaced with a Zoom meeting and there is an ongoing discussion of whether the efficiency of WFH stacks up to working in a dedicated work space. This is just one example of how the pandemic may cause things to be done differently going forward when Covid-19 itself is no longer a pervasive threat.
People will also, no doubt continue to do more and more shopping online. The trend was going in that direction anyway but the pandemic may have pushed more people into, for instance, grocery shopping online and having the groceries dropped off on the doorstep. Is that so different than it was in the first half of the 20th century when you’d call the grocer and they would make up your order and have the delivery boy drop it by? The pandemic may have just gotten people on board with it who have never used such a service as grocery delivery before and discover they like it. Of course this does not even fully take into account the trend that has been growing for years towards online shopping for almost anything.
Some Things Cannot Change
We hear from so many people that they really miss the human interaction. That can be anything from the energy of a crowded bustling restaurant, to going to concerts, shows, weddings and gatherings of all kinds where entertainment is a part of it. We may not be able to do it now, but it is not a secret that people want to get back to enjoying entertainment that isn’t on their big screen TV or laptop, no disrespect to Netflix!
Think of the music business over the years. Over a LOT of years. As long as there have been musicians or performers of any kind art, music, entertainment, comedy and more have all evolved, but one thing does not change. Seeing live entertainment is an experience that, in person, has its own power that transcends the performance itself. Nobody thinks seeing a band on YouTube compares to seeing the same band perform live, whether it is a national touring act or a local rock and roll band in the park. Yes, it will take some time, but our advice to our many artists on GigRoster.com is, be ready! Music and entertainment will be back, and maybe bigger than before.
Use the time to plan and prepare and hone your art because if anything, the pandemic is creating a growing hunger for seeing live talent. A need that nothing else will fulfill of having the energy, the emotion, the feelings that seeing a live performance can bring to people and the audience around them. It could be a DJ on stage, a solo singer doing opera, an 80 piece symphony orchestra or band playing original rock. Everyone is anxious to see real talent when it is time to return. It will be gradual, yes, but in time, this too will pass and music will be there as it has always been, through the history of mankind, growing, changing, evolving. People are realizing that music and entertainment is not an optional activity. It is vital to life, and we’ll know we are on the road to healing when the music is back. And make no mistake, it will be.
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