(Hypebot) — After two years of sporadic lockdowns, the Omicron surge has been particularly difficult for live music venues and touring artists.
LIVE, which describes itself as the collective voice of the UK live music industry, found in a survey that a mixture of COVID-19 and Brexit has resulted in a quarter of live music shows being cancelled in Q1 2022.
26% of all UK shows have been cancelled and 44% of international shows have been postponed,
The survey also found that most of the UK cancellations are due to a lack of public confidence and a fear of events being cancelled due to further COVID restrictions.
In the US last week, a representative from the National Independent Venue Association testified before a US Congressional committee that consumer confidence had been rattled by Omicron just as venues were starting to reopen.
“Usually, 5% of ticket buyers don’t attend,” the spokesperson told Congress. “Now the number of no-shows is often closer to 50% and most of us rely on in venue sales to cover our expenses.”
Hypebot’s own informal survey of venues, artists and agents found a painful trifecta of rising no-shows, stalled new ticket sales and rising infections among artists and crew.
But despite the current struggles, many, somehow, remain resilient and hopeful. “It don’t know if it’s fueled by blind optimism, but my phone is ringing off the hook to book late spring and summer shows,” one agent told Hypebot. “I actually worry about there being too many shows and tours this summer.”
Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.