Experts Warn UK Gigs And Festivals Might Not Happen Until Next Year

Doctors and industry experts have said that 2020 is a "write-off" for UK gigs and festivals.

Experts Warn UK Gigs And Festivals Might Not Happen Until Next Year

According to a new BBC report, experts are suggesting that gigs and festivals in the UK likely won't be happening until 2021.

With a huge number of gigs and summer festivals already cancelled and postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, talk has turned to when we might actually be able to go and watch live music again – but, unsurprisingly, it doesn't look like it'll be for a while yet.

Cambridge University lecturer Dr Chris Smith tells the BBC of the situation in the UK, "The government has cost the country billions to get the transmission rate right down, and we know that a very good catalyst for spreading the thing and amplifying cases is getting loads of people together again, and that's exactly what goes on at concerts, matches, and other kinds of parties.

"So I can't see them saying, 'You know what, we think everyone needs a party' – it's too soon."

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He also questions how social-distancing would even work in a gig environment if it came to that, explaining, "How on earth would we ever have a system that was enforceable where you said, 'You can go to a rock concert and watch Ed Sheeran but you've got to stand two metres apart?' Everyone would just laugh.

"You've got to think about the bigger picture, which is how do most people get to and get into the venue [at the same time]? If you suddenly have to start telling people, 'You can't all go to the loo together.' Can you imagine the carnage?"

Discussing a timeframe for when things might start to kick off again, he adds, "I think this year is basically a write-off, if I'm honest with you."

Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn also recently spoke of a long-term wait for gigs and festivals, revealing that he didn’t think the band’s shows would resume until the summer of 2022.

“This pandemic, like nearly all pandemics, will last 18 to 24 months,” he said. “It’s going to come in waves. We’re gonna be hunkered down for a while, then we’re going to be able to lighten up some of the restrictions. Then it’s going to kick back in and we’re gonna have to hunker down, quarantine, shelter in place, social distance. Then we’ll free things up again, at least to some degree, and then a third wave will probably come… and by then we will have the routine down so it will likely be under control, with the vaccine that’s wildly available to the general public.

“I myself have been able to keep a far more positive mindset knowing that Machine Head shows will probably not resume until summer of 2022,” Robb continued, “and that we will likely not get fully back on track until 2024, if we ever get back on track at all!”

The news follows last month's Reuters/Ipsos poll across the pond, where only four in 10 American adults said that they would be willing to attend a gig, sport event or the theatre before a COVID-19 vaccine. Another four in 10 revealed they wouldn't be going to these goings-on without a proven vaccine, while others claimed that they may never go to them again.

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