Should Gigs Go Ahead In 2020?


You don’t need me to tell you what’s going on in the world right now, Coronavirus has caused a complete shutdown of practically everything we are used to – including live music. It has been roughly 3 long, painful months since live music graced us and for a lot of us, our summertime plans of gigs, booze and festivals have been stolen from our grasp. However, with the Coronavirus sanctions being eased frequently, perhaps some normality will return.

Each person will have their own set of opinions towards how we should all behave during this Coronavirus pandemic – some may feel that unessential shops have reopened too early, some will say they haven’t. Ultimately, the decisions are down to the government but each individual/business can decide if they feel it is necessary. It is very uncertain whether music venues will reopen this year but with the re-introduction of pubs in the next month or so, many may hope music venues will follow after. I am sure that the government will have its own stance on the reopening of these venues and will explicitly mention when they deem it to be safe. However, will it be reasonable to expect gigs to go ahead this year?

It’s hard to imagine what would be less safe, a huge venue like the O2 with 20,000 inside or the tiny Joiners with 200; neither seem very pleasant in today’s climate. If venues were to reopen this year I could only imagine some important changes being in place. Cutting the capacity by at least 50% could ease up space in some larger venues and enforcing a “no mask, no entry” policy could also be effective in both easing worried punters in preventing the spread and a maximum of 2 tickets per purchase could discourage larger groups from attending together. I would imagine nightclubs and music venues would have very similar reopening time frames due to their comparable nature as well as the close proximity attendees have with each other would be pretty similar.

Of course, just because the government has deemed it safe to reopen doesn’t mean all venues will. Whilst I’m sure many grassroots venues will be itching to reopen in order to boost their finances and bring great gigs back to the local scene, they will also be mindful of the consequences it could have. Furthermore, it is hard to judge how people would feel about attending a gig upon reopening, but a survey was curated and shared by independent venues to get a general gist of these views.

In my opinion, the idea of going to an indoor gig of any form in the next few months is worrying. Being in such close proximity to so many others just doesn’t feel safe right now. Not only that but a lot of people use public transport or taxis/Uber to get to venues and again these just don’t feel 100% safe. It would be hard to social distance in a music venue, especially as many gigs would get you moving about, moshing and crowd-surfing. I don’t think gigs would be worthwhile if you were forced into standing still, 2 metres away from anybody else for the entirety. No matter how much I miss live music, I don’t think I could risk people around me at home and work by choosing to go to gigs just yet – maybe we could reassess in October.


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Psychology student at UoS.

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