Festival season was a write-off in 2020 and unfortunately it looks like a lot of events will also have to be cancelled this year, while many acts are also postponing scheduled concerts. In many countries around the world, it is simply not realistic to be holding concerts and festivals right now due to the global pandemic, although there is room for positivity due to the impressive work being done on the vaccination process.
That will come too late for plenty of 2021 events that have already had to confirm they will not be going ahead as planned, with England’s Glastonbury among those to have been cancelled.
Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar were set to headline Glastonbury but the father-and-daughter organizers Michael and Emily Eavis said it could not go ahead in 2021.
“It has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down,” the Eavis family said in a statement posted on social media.
Other festivals are certain to follow suit but the industry is riven by uncertainty right now.
Rescheduling remains a possibility
The 2021 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California was set to take place in April but, as in 2020, the event has had to be cancelled as a result of COVID-19 concerns.
Ticket-holders were looking forward to seeing acts such as Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine but Coachella is officially off.
Dr Cameron Kaiser, who is the local Riverside County’s public health office, explained that case numbers in the area remain too high for festivals like Coachella to be able to go ahead.
Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege previously indicated that events could be rescheduled for the fall, however, leading to hopes that Coachella could happen later in the year.
“We’ve been focused on, you know, making sure that everyone’s wearing masks and enforcing as much as possible, really so that we can keep our residents safe and have a bright future in a few months when we can reopen,” said Mayor Holstege.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, is also on the record as saying fall is a reasonable target for some semblance of normality to return, which could allow festivals to take place in some shape or form later on in 2021. For this to happen, he said 75 per cent to 85 percent of the population will need to have been vaccinated against the virus.
How will acts adapt?
Assuming few festivals can be held this year, it is likely there will be more innovation in order to bring live music to fans over the next few months.
Social media live streams have become common and it might even be the case that virtual festivals begin to spring up in order to fill otherwise empty summer weekends.
While it’s true that nothing can replace the adrenaline rush and pure joy of attending a live performance of your favorite artists, it’s expected to see many of the music stars perform on YouTube for their fans. And for those looking to get the much-needed adrenaline high, giving music inspired slots with free spins a go might be safer than taking up an extreme sport or two.
Bands like Motorhead and Guns N’ Roses even have their own slot games, so fans of those acts should consider heading to an online casino to check them out.
Tours being scrapped
Many acts who had tours planned for 2021 have moved early to cancel them entirely, rather than trying to find a later date when they can take place.
The 1975 and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are among the artists to have seemingly given up on the idea of being able to play live shows to thousands of people at all this year.
In a statement, The 1975 said cancellation was the best option “until we can be sure that we will be able to play shows in a way that is safe for our fans and crew.”
This move at least gives fans some clarity as they do not have to go through an anxious wait to see whether or not they are going to be able to see the bands they love this year.
Like a lot of sectors, the music industry is in a state of flux right now. Festivals, concerts and tours will all be back one day, but it might well be towards the back end of 2021, not the summer.