Our warmest wishes to get well soon for all band members and crew. Thank you for keeping yourselves and fans safe during this challenging time.
After a really hopeful spring and the announcement of major tours across the country from Dead and Co to Phish who are currently on tour, to SCI and others, the Delta Variant of the Covid-19 virus is threatening postponement or cancellation of numerous shows.
There had been 14 shows scheduled in 16 days starting on August 14th with the majority of shows being in the Southeast including shows in FL, NC, TN, MO, AR, along with a date in TX and Chicago. It is likely that in the coming days we will learn how many more shows will be canceled or to when they may be postponed. Louisville and Columbus are named in the above announcement.
There was optimism among live music fans even as July unfolded with ample opportunity to see bands large and small all over the continent. But in the last few weeks protocol announcements and postponements have started to pile. Stevie Nicks postponed her tour dates a few days ago. Bonnaroo announced protocol updates, and Jason Isbell is publicly feuding with other artists and venues over failure to enforce protocol policy. While some other tours are quite clearly pushing onward including Phish who are playing major events across the country.
Within the industry, even in the relatively vaccinated northeast we’re getting multiple reports of triple average no show rates. Typically not every person who purchases a ticket to a show attends, and that’s called the no show rate. Two different medium sized venues (one at 500 cap, one at 800 cap) in MA have told LMNR that their rates for recent shows were 15%. That’s 1 in 6.5 people who purchased tickets in the $20-$80 range who are just not going to the shows. Reports from Phish tour are that there are piles of unused tickets near the gates or taped to trees from people not coming to shows. FB groups are filled with people offering up tickets now that the show date is approaching. These messages are for a variety of reasons, concerns about safety, concerns about protocols, or that they are or a recent contact are sick and the poster doesn’t want to jeopardize their friends at shows.
We have chosen here at LMNR to not inundate readers with show cancellations and postponements. I considered sitting down yesterday and writing a long editorial about my personal experiences in 2020 and 2021 as an agent, a musician, a promoter, and a live music fan and attendee. I stopped myself as I was feeling the depression and anxiety of 2020 creeping up and ruining my 2021 optimism buzz.
We will report major news as we see it, but we will not spend our energy on dozens of reports of changing protocols or postponements in order to keep our collective spirits. I for one have had some amazing and unique experiences this spring and summer seeing and performing at shows. This may be an oasis for some, and for others a desert of live music as they were not yet comfortable attending, and for some nothing will change and they will be happy to continue to attend and throw live music events. This is the complicated and varied fabric of current American society. We’re just a little music fan website, but we will continue to be here to report on live music. Stay safe everyone!
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