Holdiness: COVID-19 won’t stop for live music


Andrew King, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the increase in coronavirus vaccinations, concerts and festivals pose a risk for those attending.

Lexi Holdiness, Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks, in-person performances with live audiences made their comeback since COVID-19 first swept across the world. Although it’s an exciting time to have live performance re-enter the musical realm, the coronavirus is still a real issue and shouldn’t be forgotten. 

The music industry’s return is an extraordinary highlight in the pandemonium that is ever-present since last year. With the rapid distribution of vaccines, people are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel; however, the trip through it is far from over. The organizers of these returning live performances need to be wary of spreading COVID-19. The pandemic is not over. 

These in-person shows and festivals are hotspots for COVID-19. It’s important to remember why in-person concerts were cancelled in the first place. Safety is priority and it needs to stay that way. 

In order to attend the concerts and gatherings, vaccinations should be required. Requiring vaccinations would lower the spread rate, and it would also decrease the number of people attending or influence people to get vaccinated. If vaccinations are not required, then proof of a negative test must be provided. 

In addition to vaccinations, masks are a vital part of limiting infections. In order to keep the live performances live, masks need to be mandatory and that policy needs to be enforced. 

The size of the audience also needs to be limited. Huge sold-out arenas will result in huge red zones for COVID-19 to spread. Arenas need to limit seating to certain numbers while maintaining a safe environment for all attendees. 

Recently, famous singer-songwriter Harry Styles returned to live concerts by resuming his “Love on Tour” dates. At every concert, Styles requires all fans to provide proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests at least 48 hours prior. Styles also requires masks at every concert for all attendees. 

Styles’s priorities are exactly where they need to be. In order for tours to continue, concerts have to be held to the standards set. Styles is a perfect example for all other artists returning to live shows. 

It’s crucial that COVID-19 regulations are followed at festivals, too. The Second Sky Musical Festival returned in September. All attendees were required to show proof of a full vaccination or provide a negative COVID test at least 72-hours prior. Masks were not required, but the festival strongly recommended masks to be worn regardless of vaccination status. 

Although precautions can be taken to reduce the spread, the responsibility lies on the audience attending. In order to keep the progression towards ending the pandemic, everyone needs to do their part. It’s up to the fans to keep live performances afloat.