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Covid Attendance

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The old people aren’t going.

We live in an era of data transparency, just check availability of seats for boomer shows om Ticketmaster, they’re plentiful. They may be expensive, but in the old days the gigs went clean, now they don’t.

It’s unclear what is happening in Covid world. Infections are going down in most places, as are deaths, except in a few northern red states, is this the end? Could be, probably not. We know how this ultimately plays out… Monoclonal antibodies, the new pill…the unvaxxed are gonna be saved and then they’re going to declare victory, saying they were right to abstain from the vaccine, despite being wrong, but how long will it take?

It’s a conundrum. On so many levels America is open for business. Look for masks at sporting events, it’s hard to find ’em. But despite so many out in the world, there are so many who are still trepidatious, and they’re hurting business, in the concert world, the restaurant world… The boomers are the ones with money, and they’ll spend it, but they don’t want to risk dying to have the experience.

Talk until you’re blue in the face, you can’t convince them otherwise. It’s an internal feeling, which is different from an antivaxxer belief. They’d prefer to stay home and be safe rather than sorry. Get old enough and you can miss anything. A youngster needs the cereal in the grocery store, an oldster can pass it up, they know life is long and they want it to be longer.

So the concert business is not back.

So many of the dollars are generated by acts appealing to oldsters.

And it’s not only concerts, it’s movies too.

“Latest James Bond Film Falls Behind Predecessors as Covid-19 Concerns Linger”:

The hype is so heavy you’d believe that the Bond return is a triumph, proving that Covid is in the rearview mirror, that happy days are here again, BUT THAT IS UNTRUE!

But we live in a world where nobody will speak the truth. Britain is reeling from Brexit, but no one will use the B-word.

“Brexit is Making Britain a Third World Country The Ugly Truth is Brexit Didn’t ‘Level Up’ Britain – It’s Levelling it All the Way Down To Ruin”:

Read this article. And remember, the promised touring concessions have yet to be instituted. If you’re an English act trying to tour the Continent…you might as well be from America.

People are stupid, and those in control won’t speak the truth and they’re kept stupid, if not delusional.

We could fix these situations. We could have more vaccine mandates. Then boomers would be willing to pay high prices to go to shows. But until then, many are reluctant. Which is why Dennis Arfa said boomer superstars should stay home until at least next spring. Talk to agents and promoters, tickets suddenly stopped selling. Not completely, but on-sales have dropped dramatically. Not that you’ll read this in any trade papers, which are cheerleaders echoing the words of those paying their bills.

We have not returned to normal. We could look at the economic indicators, but the truth is the unvaxxed are slowing down our entire economy. Blame me all you want, but this is something that is covered in the news, not on OAN or Fox, but in the “Wall Street Journal” and “New York Times.”

Happy days are not here again. We still need to fight Covid, not only physically, but in the mind. How do industries make patrons feel safe again? We’ve still got a long way to go.

Responses from Bob’s readers. Please note that these comments are not edited for grammar or content.

My youngest daughter is 2X Pfizer vaccinated with no preexisting health issues. She is the poster child for careful pandemic behavior, working from home for 500+ days, fully masked out in the world, etc. A month ago she went to a club concert by one of her favorite artists with a friend here in Orange County.  I’ll spare naming the venue and the artist. The event required proof of vaccine or recent negative test. They were masked most of the time inside the sold out venue other than sipping their beverages. Great night, excellent show, happy daughter.

4 days later on a Sunday she exhibited symptoms that were confirmed to be the COVID-10 virus. Fever, chills, fatigue, body ache, respiration issues, chronic coughing, low oximeter readings – the full gamut. The Abbott home virus test on Monday confirmed a positive. Her doctor who is also mine prescribed Z-Pack, Zinc, Vitamin D, Tylenol, and a cough medication. The symptoms continued for 10 days and she was down for the count.  The doctor warned if the oximeter reading dipped below 92 to contact him again.  Fortunately it didn’t and the office was kind enough to  check on her for several days.

She was never to the point of requiring hospitalization but the misery was constant, not for 3-4 days as is thought with breakthrough cases, but the full term. Today a month later, she still has no taste or smell and is still testing positive but is not contagious. I took care of her though she stayed isolated and I, also 2X vaxed & boostered, tested negative 4X in 10 days, felt great, no symptoms despite her relative proximity. By the way, her friend escaped catching it. Go figure.

So, mandating vaccines is essential for the concert business to get back on its feet long term and prevent any false starts short term. Extreme caution, a unified system of checks and enforcement must be in place everywhere. Music fans and industry workers deserve it.

Jim McKeon


Went to see My Morning Jacket with Britney Howard opening a couple of weeks ago and was saddened at how small the crowd was. GREAT outdoor venue (Forest Hills Stadium with excellent food and drinks), mandatory double vaccination for entry (and they were’t joking about checking ID’s against names on the vax cards) AND they crowd was still only 50-60%. I don’t know the history of the band’s ticket sales, but it was kinda bummed out for them. Both artists were fantastic, but the communal vibe of great live music was a little deadened by such a small crowd.

Makes me wonder if mandatory vaccinations would increase ticket sales at boomer shows?? Makes me wonder if people will ever get off their asses and support great artists any longer? Makes me wonder if holing up at home with HULU, Netflix, HBO, and all the others is just killing the world of live entertainment?

Not sure how fixable some of this stuff is after this pandemic. Tastes, cultural desires, and America’s willingness to leave the couch may have changed more than Dennis Arfa knows.

– Darryl Estrine


My husband and I are retired boomers in our 60’s. We love to attend concerts and go out to eat but even though we’re fully vaccinated we’re very intentional about where we go. We live near Nashville and there are a few concert venues that host artists who require vaccinations to attend so those are the ones that get our money. We patronize restaurants that offer outside dining or we go at off hours when we can get a table away from other diners. But we certainly aren’t spending the amount of money on concerts and restaurants like we did before the pandemic. We want to support artists and business owners but if it’s safer for us to stay home that’s we will do until more people get vaccinated and the number of Covid cases goes down.
Pam Dyson


I’m 64 years old. I love live music more than anything. The other day I rode my bike past the BLUE NOTE and the Village Vanguard. And all I could think of was, boy, I wish I had the nerve to go inside and see a show.  But I have cancer, I’m in chemotherapy, and my first two shots didn’t work (it took my third shot to develop any antibodies). I feel bad for the performers that I’m not supporting but I also feel glad that I wake up every morning. One of these days, I will feel comfortable again. But until then I have no regrets.

Michael Reinert


I attended NY Comic Con every year.  This year i went for one day on Saturday.  I normally dread Saturdays because  there are so many people it is so uncomfortable  you can not even walks through the isles.  I hear attendance for  this is event can exceed 150,000 people.  This year Saturday  felt like it was 10am Thursday. It felt empty.  I did not even notice any of the Big companies doing anything insane.  With the release of Venom this past week and all the Disney releases with the MCU you would think it would of seen stuff all over the place.    I was amazed by  how simple it was to walk around.   It is not just the concert business.

Jon Topper


Lots of no shows this season + or –

But, plenty of boomers.

No masks.

Bill Carle
Ozarks Amphitheater


Truth. Sitting here watching sales I expected just not happening. Why take a risk when my TV has so many choices. Vax mandate and masking here no longer helping. Many hate masks more than they hate missing concerts.

Ron Ozer – Arden Concert Gild, Delaware


It ain’t just the boomers, Bob.

Tool, who had to cancel a string of dates in 2020, just announced 2022 dates.  Two Q1 NY area shows and neither one is sold out.  One’s on a Saturday in NJ and the other is a weeknight on Long Island but that typically wouldn’t matter to their audience, which is almost all hardcore fans.

Unthinkable in the “before times.”

Dave Conklin


Bob, I have tickets to see Wilco in Santa Barbara, but I’m too nervous to go. It’s at the Bowl which is a great venue and it’s open air. I’ve tried selling my tix at even below cost, but I’ve had no takers and I love this band.  A good friend’s daughter was vaxed and recently went to a concert and got pretty sick with Covid. I’m not sure on the specifics. Don’t know if she was wearing a mask or if proof of vaccine was mandatory.  This thing is far from over. It is reassuring to see the numbers going down, but I feel too many people feel like it has just disappeared.

Alan Oreman


Bob, I’ll never understand why they didn’t release the James Bond film on one of the streaming services. I subscribed to Disney+ when it was the only way to watch ‘Hamilton’. I rarely watch the channel, but Disney+ has had almost 18 months of me paying $7 per month for the service. I would happily have thrown money at a streaming channel, in order to watch James Bond.  I can’t see going into a cinema until Fall 2022 at the earliest. I want to watch James Bond, but I’m not taking the risk of going into a cinema.  Such a wasted opportunity.

– Erin Dineen


I’m Gen X, Bob. Many of us are also not ready to go back into crowds – concerts, movies, restaurants – despite our love for the experience. We will wait.

Jeremy Spiegel


We are still not going out.  It just isn’t worth taking the chance. Our grandchildren are too young to be vaccinated, and we want to see them without exposing them. So we won’t be attending any concerts for a while still.

Our house concert series is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this February. We had hoped for a big show to celebrate, but that won’t be happening.  The next date we have booked to host a show is Saturday, April 30, 2022, but whether or not that happens will depend on how things go over the next 6 months.

The Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine in Malibu has some really good shows lined up, but we won’t be attending. We feel bad missing good concerts, and we feel bad not supporting acts that we like . . . but there’s a worldwide pandemic going on!!  (4.5 million people have died worldwide, but it appears to be a secret because there’s no way you’d know it if you watched sporting events lately.)

Hope you are well.

Russ Paris


Your observations ring completely true for me and almost everyone of my boomer pals.

The whole idea of seeing a good band, for me, is to feel FREE, to forget myself and fly along with the band for an hour or two.

So, I’m going to go out now and wear a mask in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd and risk stewing all night — or worse, getting caught up in some fracas — because some unmasked / unvacc’d / over-served dude or couple has to show everybody it’s finally time to get loose? Only takes one! ….And if a lifetime of shows has taught me anything, that one will end up standing right in front of me. …But now, what was once just annoying becomes something operating at a whole different level. And hey, forget shows: just going to the Walgreen’s is a dodgy business!

The vacc’d friends I have who went out to a show in July, in the burbs, to see a denim and leather rock band — several got Covid.  The deep blue city-locales where I typically go to see shows, the likelihood of that happening seems low — but you look at the numbers, and it’s nowhere near close enough to zero to make it worth the risk.

Nope, not at all surprised by what the numbers are showing.

Steve Lindstrom


Saw Idles at the Riviera in Chicago last Friday- proof of two vaccines or negative test, and masks required. I’m about to be too old to do that again. Idles happen to be my current favorite band right now and it would’ve been really hard to miss it. (Also- the venue is great and 2 blocks form my door). Everybody was masked but I still started getting freaked out. It was packed and sweaty even in the balcony. I started thinking about how quickly they checked our vax cards. I don’t know when we’ll be able to say this is “over” but I won’t do that again until I don’t have the heeby-jebbies thinking about it. Like I said, I might be getting to that age where I’d rather have a bunch more good summers than give into fomo. It’s really a shame what the politicization of the the virus did to the touring business and to the country.

Christian Lane
Chicago, IL


This old man is back to concerts, at least those that are run safely.

I went to the Los Lobos concert at the beautiful Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. On the steps they had a check in table where nice people were checking vaccination cards with photo ID . Proof of vax ? On goes the white wristband.

The tickets were scanned at the door. No long delay, no angry people. At the door you were reminded to keep your mask on and as far as I could tell everyone did. I took off my glasses so they wouldn’t fog and heard one of the best damn bands play for two hours. Their live version of the Dead’s “Bertha” was so kick ass I couldn’t believe it. 3 guitars, bass and drums wailing along with a bass saxophone. I was shouting into my face covering “lord take me now!” and was hoarse the next day but Covid safe.

John Brooks Ojai, California


Thanks for tryin’ to fight the good fight Bob, but we’ve been to 2 boomer-friendly shows at Jones Beach in Long Island this summer, Hall & Oates and Black Crowes. Both shows near capacity, full o’ Boomers.  Grey hair everywhere. About half-masked.

Jon Langston


For what it’s worth, some friends and I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually attend a show. The venue advised on their website that proof of vax would be required, as well as, mask mandates upon entering. Well, that all went out the window the second we were in the club. Nobody checking vax cards, just a few folks masked up and a general devil may care attitude. My group of friends have a saying, “If you go to enough shows, you will end up at THE show.” Well, it turned into “one of those shows” with a raucous crowd and a performance that was other worldly. I have to be honest, it was nice to step back into heaven for a little bit, infected as it was .

John Sukitch


I’ll be at my first gig next Sunday when I take in Erasure and Blancmange at the huge O2 arena.
I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask more often than not when out of the house, but at 52 and with manageable asthma hell I’m taking zero chances these last 18 months.
But Sunday, what can I do. The wife wants to go, we’ll be standing for 3 plus hours too; how many will be maskless, not double vaccinated etc?

Also, fucking Brexit. This govt is riding us down the road to oblivion and our once impartial journalists and our once impartial BBC are doing shit all about it and NOT reporting on the lies and the corruption and the veritable money train that COVID gave them.

One bit of good news I have for you, those preview songs from the Let it Be ‘re-do’ sound great!

Gary James Clarke


Totally agree and we have yet to experience what the northern hemisphere has especially in Melbourne which holds the world record for the most locked down city in the world .
This has decimated what was once the event and music capital of a Australia and it’s going to take years to come to pre covid levels .
On the upside we are nearly at 85% first vaxed which means we will at least get 85% of the population vaccinated in the next month or so .
85% of the population being vaxed doesn’t mean business as usual in this city though which makes no sense . So we will still have restrictions on capacities which for smaller venues is still diabolical as this could last another year .
Having 85% of population vaxed still means in a state of 6.5 million people there is still just over 1 million unvaxed .
In real terms if you have a show of 10000 people you have a potential of 1500 not being vaxed and the big issue I see here is this unless your getting your online ticket sales there is the potential that 15% of that audience who have bought tickets won’t be vaccinated and the issues will be at the point of entry and not at the point of purchase .
This has to change in the meantime our business’s are expected to uphold licensing laws with entry but now have to be faux health inspectors with their patrons which equals disaster ..


Warren Bernard Amster


Toad the Wet Sprocket in Norwalk, CT (indoors) last week – filled, masked with vax or neg test. Gin Blossoms at Pound Ridge Harvest Festival, NY (outdoors) also last week with no requirements but still crowded.  Chicago at Palace Theater in Stamford, CT (indoors) – great turnout, masked with vax or neg test.  Just saw Karla Bonoff at City Winery in NYC yesterday evening.  The room was filled with us “older folk.”  Unmasked, vaccinated and out and about.  We may not be hitting the large arenas but we’re certainly heading to the smaller venues based on the four shows I’ve been to in the last two weeks.

Alex Novielli


I’m healthy, 37 and vaxxed. No Interest in sitting down at a restaurant. No interest in being ass to elbow watching a band either.

I felt like restaurants were dirty and concerts just giant mass of respiratory terror BEFORE Covid… I carried sanitizer, I refused to use table condiments without using a napkin as a buffer. Menus? Disgusting. And concerts? So much coughing, drunk people yelling. People licking their fingers clean at the ketchup stand, people passing their vapes back and forth. Good god.

Truth be told I went to restaurants and concerts because it seemed like I was supposed to. Did I ever really want to? Maybe a half dozen times In my life.

Covid has given me cover to finally write these activities off. I’m sure I’ll see some shows and eat out at a restaurant again, but not any time soon. And I don’t miss it and haven’t missed it in 18+ months.

Eli Chastain


I am vaccinated and living my life pre-covid here in So Cal.   I have been to 2 football games the last 2 weeks (Rose Bowl and Sofi) where both were supposed to be checking vax cards or negative test per LA County.   I did not get asked at either venue.   Both venues did not have enough staff to check all the lanes to get in.   Yes I saw a couple of workers checking but I just found a lane with no one checking and it was faster to get in.   Also in LA County,  we are supposed to be wearing mask while at our seat unless eating or drinking.   I would say only 5% might actually being doing that.   The vax people are out and about living life pre-covid.   Hope you get out soon.

Steve Burnette


Dead & Co. are playing in town tonight but I don’t know anyone under 60 going. We’re staying home and streaming Phil & Friends from The Capital Theatre…

Rodney Rowland


I’m going. Maybe I’m not old at 45. I went to the Doobie Brothers Saturday at the Forum, sat in the third row, and had no fear ( I’m vaxed). Heading back to see the Eagles Saturday.

Kyle J. Ferraro


This is it. This is the new normal. We’re going to be getting COVID shots every whatever number of months for probably the rest of our lives. We’re going to wear masks when there’s a lot of people around if we care about keeping ourselves healthy.

Are we protecting ourselves from the unvaccinated? Are we just catering to our own fears? It really doesn’t matter, because this is the way it’s going to be.

And that means that some of us will not be going out to the sheds no matter how much we love the old geezers that are playing on stage because there’s a lot of people not following masking and other protocols. And the geezers who thought they were going to cash in on tour won’t be making near as much as they expected.

Welcome to the future. Live with it.

Mark Edwards Edelstein


We’ve had two tours back so far, and ticket sakes have been good, but attendance has not. On one hand it’s nice to be making ends meet and I’m super thankful people are buying tickets, but the anemic show experience is a huge bummer. I’d rather make less money and have a full room – that’s when we’ll know we’re back.

Kristie Macdonald


I’m old and would go to concerts if the vaccinated people would stop canceling or rescheduling their shows because THEY tested positive for Covid. I stopped buying tickets since I’ve yet to be able to go to a show I had tickets for.

Peter Boyles


My youngest daughter and her wife went to a wedding in Alabama a few weeks ago. Both are healthcare workers. Both are vaxxed. Everyone at the wedding was vaxxed. When they came home, my daughter got sick. Was tested several times for covid, each test negative. Flu-like symptoms and eventually pink-eye. Not COVID.

A few days later, her wife developed symptoms and then lost sense of taste. Tested- covid.

Airline, airport, rental car, filling station…who knows.

Tonight- this from my Eldest daughter ( a prof at Elon)

“We’ve now lost a fourth student at UNC since the semester started. We’ve also lost a student at Elon. I’m devastated.

My students are the best part of my week. I can’t imagine losing one of them.

Please, please, please check in on the people (especially the young people) in your lives. This has been a rough year.

If you are struggling and you think things aren’t ‘bad enough yet’, please reach out for help. You don’t need to suffer alone.”

John Williams


I decided not to play rec league hockey this winter. A huge decision here in Canada. Prime reason : if I get hurt playing I’m in for quite an experience trying to get treated. The anti vax folks have filled the hospitals and they get top priority. A fully vaxxed injured hockey player ? Of course if you are Wayne Gretzky you’ll get treated , otherwise wait in line. And it’s a long wait with the anti vax folks constantly cutting in line in front of everyone else.


Owen Dearing


Saw Jason Isbell two nights in a row at Austin City Limits Live (the first shows that he required vaccinations or negative tests). The venue wasn’t checking IDs with the vaxx cards, and barely glanced at your papers. They weren’t happy about having the extra work, at least the guy that “checked” our cards. Those shows were sold out and looked to be at least 90% attendance. Then, I saw him in Schaumburg, IL at a baseball field a few weeks later, and it was probably less than half full. It might have been because the word was out about the entry requirements (they checked them carefully at the venue with your ID), or because it was in the suburbs, instead of the city of Chicago (gasp!). Who knows? I know that it was the first time I’ve seen Jason recently without a packed venue. I also caught Toad the Wet Sprocket at Park West in Chicago (who also checked documentation carefully, and required masks), and it was maybe half full. They played the same venue two years ago to a full house. Attendance definitely seems down, for whatever reason(s).

Kevin Goodwin


I had tickets to see Todd Rundgren last June. In March, when things shut down, I hoped that we’d be back to normal by June.
That didn’t happen.
When tix for the rescheduled tour went on sale in July, I felt confident enough that by Oct 23, we’d be good to go.

The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater (I’m happy to rant about the stupid name any time) DOES require proof of vaccination or negative test and masks allegedly.
But as I’m reading all of responses here, I’m thinking it’s probably not worth it.

I’m triple vaccinated, but a lung cancer survivor, down a lung. Covid is the last thing I need.

And I live in Floriduh. So I can’t trust anything.

But, I haven’t been out to a live show in almost two years now.
And it’s Todd Rundgren.

I guess I have 22 days to figure out what to do.

Nicole Sandler


I am in my mid-50s. My local venue in Connecticut (not a bad seat in the
house) has three of my all-time favorites coming in the next few weeks:

– Todd Rundgren (seen 17x)
– Rick Wakeman (seen at least 10x between Yes and solo shows)
– Pat Metheny (seen 24X)

I will go see exactly NONE of them. Just can’t get comfortable with it.

Also, I have been a subscriber to the NY Philharmonic for about a decade.
When they called me to renew for the 2021-2022 season, I told the person on the phone how much I missed the symphony, but no thanks. I hoped to see them in fall ’22 for the ’22-’23 season.

As much as I miss live music, there is no way I can sit shoulder-to-shoulder, indoors, with strangers and enjoy myself, despite being fully vaccinated and living in a generally vax-compliant part of the country.

Just. Can’t.

Bill Baker


as a ticket broker i’ve noticed last minute sales are awful, but the people planning to go are paying and buying. Also sports sales are good, concert sales are worse

thanks, Tom


We had several shows lined up for October. Many of the shows cancelled. One of them was out of town. I won’t be buying tickets for any big shows until they figure this shit out.

Dinosaur Jr., State Theater, Ithaca, NY CANCELLED (rescheduled for September 2022!) Dead & Co, WPB, FL CANCELLED (they were in a catch-22 b/c state doesn’t require masks, but will fine the artist for each violation of COVID protocols, $5,000 per violation, per individual. That made it impossible for Dead & Co to entertain in the State of Florida) Tame Impala, AA, Miami, FL CANCELLED (after being rescheduled)

Made the effort to see James Bond in the theater this past weekend. What a horrible waste of my vaccine.

Finally, I live in a State that does not see the benefit of wearing masks and is bucking their way through vaccine mandates. As long as the individual states do not agree on how to approach this virus, we will be in this holding pattern for quite some time. I’m not going to stay home, but I am going to continue to wear a mask, social distance as much as possible and wash my hands often.

Khila L. Khani
Hollywood, FL


As somebody in the ticketing industry which manages over 3000 venues, there is no doubt that tickets sales have not returned to pre COVID levels. However they are rising steadily. Not sure what people are expecting before we can even say with any confidence we are through the Pandemic.
Last week I attended a show at A.R.T in Boston which was packed, not a free seat in the house and nearly everybody was a boomer. The venue was masked and you had to show proof of vaccine before you were admitted.
Many ticketing companies including ours are integrating with Vaccine Apps and there is an overwhelming energy from Venue operators to ensure the safest environments possible.
More than this, many people are looking to smaller venues in their communities who have made it this far through the pandemic. People want to support local community venues that do not inflict huge ticketing fees on hardcore fans. There may indeed be a significant shift in the industry as Venues take more control over their brand in lieu of advances from larger ticketing companies.
These companies who breeze into town to promote larger events and may not have the same community spirit. If these events become super spreader events then it will be the smaller community venues that will feel the pain the most from a further winter lockdown.
I am confident that the public would much rather attend a live event than sit on their sofas and watch more streamed content, its just with Internet overload consumers are likely to be much more considerate of the quality of the bands they choose to go and see.


Stefan Prescott


I attended my first post-COVID show on Friday night with my 15-year old daughter, a Harry Styles concert in Sunrise, Florida, in Broward County.

We are New Yorkers and in town visiting my in-laws for the long weekend. I had no idea what to expect, given the DeSantis anti-mask campaign and his general misinformation m.o.

All ticketholders at the FLA Live Arena were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 48 hours of entry and be wearing a mask. The crowd, which was 90% young woman and teenage girls, was a compliant one, as far as concerts go. Even in the arena, which felt sold out, many patrons tended to keep their masks on (which didn’t seem to mute the Beatlemania-like shrieking throughout the show). Before taking the stage, Harry’s voice was heard in a pre-recorded PSA asking the audience to keep masks on and be safe.

I couldn’t help but think that Harry’s devoted, “treat-people-with-kindness” fanbase had something to do with my overall feeling of safety. There was also very little testosterone among the crowd, let alone any displays of political affiliation (unless one associates feather boas with liberals). Whatever it was, I was pleasantly surprised in South Florida.

Tony DiNota


I’m a double vaxxed boomer and I’ve been to perhaps 40 UK shows and festivals since restrictions were lifted, first social distanced shows since April, and then no-restriction shows since August.

Here there is no legal requirement to show Vax certificates / passes or wear masks, however perhaps 50% of the shows do ask to see some evidence (certificate or rapid test). I’ve not seen anyone complain when asked and it’s quick and efficient, mostly. The biggest indoor show as Gorillaz at the 02, a free show for 18,000 health workers and I’m regularly at small club shows, 100-300.

BTW I work in music and I have to admit, I’m not over-risk-adverse, although I would definitely not class myself as a high-risk-taker. Generally, I feel safe and in the instances where perhaps a club is just too crowded, I stand at the back.

Ticket sales are varied, some big shows selling out when you don’t expect them to, some smaller shows at lesser capacity, but at least shows are happening and musicians and crews are getting work (not enough money though, for sure).

Oh and as a manager of artists, I can tell you Brexit is a HUGE problem for our country and of course especially for most musicians who simply cannot tour profitably on mainland Europe any more… I take issue with ‘no one is telling the truth about Brexit’ trust me 60% + of the country are Fully aware that it was Boris’ Brexit Bullshit that has sold this country down the river, for his own personal benefit and many more now have ‘buyers remorse’….

We will never Stop calling Boris and Brexit out (and the left-leaning media still does), and wont stop until the day we re-enter the EU, even if it takes 20 years or more so my kids can enjoy the same rights and freedoms that we did.

Stephen Budd


I am 65, but don’t call me a boomer, cause I’m not. Anyway, with many things closed down in my town since last March, only recently have shows started happening. In that time, our only smallish venue closed and was torn down, so there are no shows with people packed together here for now.

In the last week and a half, I went to 4 shows, all at a small theatre, 3 of which had been postponed from last year and which I still had tickets for.
As I know the promoter and some of the staff, and one of them usually gives me a ride, I saw all the pre-show stuff. I have been double vaccinated and brought my card, and we were all wearing masks. As all these particular shows were folk music, much of the crowd were my age, but there were numbers of younger people.

Here’s the interesting part of this story. At the first show, I met a new worker for the promoter, a 21-year old college student who was doing merch for those shows. We got to talking quite a bit. I informed her about the artists she was selling stuff for so she’d have a better idea what people might ask. At three of the shows, the artists did not sign stuff at. One of them, a duo did, and it came off pretty great. Everything went well.

So yesterday, I got a call from my friend, and he let me know that the young woman had lost her taste and smell. It has been determined that she likely got it from another student at the college and not at the theatre. As a result she could not work shows on Sunday or tomorrow (Tuesday). She also was going to go home on a school break to see her parents starting on Friday but will now have to stay in quarantine.

I had been notified online a few days ago that there were going to be boosters available yesterday and on Wednesday and Friday. Initially, I was going to wait as the location is inconvenient for me. But I decided that I would do it this Wed, but NOT for me. I feel fine, and I try not to worry about this kind of thing. But I decided I wanted to do this for HER, so when I see her again (probably on Oct 25th) there will be one less person she has to worry about. That is really what we all should be doing – this is the only way it will ever end, if we don’t care about others, it will take much longer for the virus to go away.

Hope you and yours are well,
David Bly


Respect for those artists going out and braving the cold temperatures. Where I live, people are filling restaurants, wedding events, and downtown bars to capacity again, have been for quite awhile, but the live music industry continues to struggle. Ticket sales, at least for my clients, are 50% what they were in 2018 & 2019, and 10-25% of those 50% bought their tickets a year ago and just don’t show. The science says that if you got the shot, it was supposed to be more safe to go back out again, and many are, it’s just relative to what people are choosing to do.

Jordan Burger
Madison House


I do not know why the music industry, and specifically music festivals take so much heat and have so much pressure put upon us vs other entertainment options regarding Front of House COVID protocols.

As we demonstrated this summer, Elevation is fully committed to running the safest events possible. My colleagues across the music industry have gone to great lengths (and expense) to insure the safety of our fans. I am proud of the efforts put forth by so many.

But, in my opinion, the reality is, while music promoters and venues are checking ticket buyers for proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test, most football, baseball and basketball stadiums/arenas across the country are doing nothing in this regard.

NFL and NCAA football stadiums have been packed each of the past five weeks. No masks required, no proof of vax needed.

Just last week, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse – in Cleveland – released their COVID rules moving forward: “Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse this week announced some COVID restrictions for certain events, but those will not include any regular season Cavs or Monsters games.”–cavs-games

What are we saying to the ticket buying public? Could the messaging be anymore mixed? Does science really tell us that a packed football stadium or basketball arena is free of COVID transmission, but a concert at the same venue is not???? How can we – as an industry – compete with these other high profile options? Wow!

Denny Young
The Elevation Group


False Vacc Documents or tests… They are out there! Ridiculous!!!! Very Worried about this!!! We are going on the Blues Cruise Nov. Kind of impressed with the safety protocol of the Cruise Lines! Wish us SAFTEY!!!!


Mardi Silva
Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise


The number of bands I’m dying to see? Tons. The number of bands I’m willing to die to see? Zero

Peter Burnside

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