The co-founder of one of the United States’ premier music festivals gave a sharp blow to music fans hoping for the swift return of concerts.
Marc Geiger, former global head of the William Morris Endeavor music division and the co-founder of Lollapalooza, said in a podcast he feels live music won’t return until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s going to take that long before what I call ‘the germaphobia economy’ is slowly killed off and replaced by what I call the ‘claustrophobia economy’ — that’s when people want to get out and go out to dinner and have their lives, go to festivals and shows,” Geiger said on the The Bob Lefsetz Podcast.
“It’s my instinct that it’s going to take a while because super-spreader events — sports, shows, festivals, anything — aren’t going to do too well while the virus is this present,” Geiger continued.
The Texas Medical Association lists “attending a large music concert” as a 9 on its 1 to 10 scale of the riskiest things to do during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most American music festivals, including Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, have postponed their events until 2021.
Concert tours from leading musicians have mostly been postponed due to the coronavirus, though some have begun touring at drive-in movie theaters.
Geiger calls drive-in concerts a “gimmick” and a “temporary stopgap solution.”
For concerts to return to normal, Geiger said, it’s important for insurers to be willing to cover the liability of shows.
“I know it’s frustrating, maddening and economically destructive, but this is bigger than us,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has already had ripple effects on the music industry.