How Fast Will Fans Come Back?
Live events ground to a halt due to COVID-19. This included music concerts, festivals, and sporting events. The restrictions against large public gatherings made these types of events some of the poster children of the shutdown economy. There have been adaptations such as drive-in concerts and livestream events as well as questions about the future of live events.
Eventually though live events will come back. Artists, teams, venues, ticket marketplaces, and brokers all depend on this and have one question in mind that matters more than any. Will fans attend?
Now there are for sure more at- risk segments of the population who will likely be more hesitant. Factors such as development of treatments and vaccines play a large roll. Additionally, venue changes and capacity restrictions will come into effect. But let’s ignore these, and just think and look at general fan demand. Will they show up? Here are a few reasons the answer may be YES.
NFL ticket sales: Early reports were strong regarding ticket sales for the upcoming season as the NFL charges ahead. Now understandably there are a lot of questions to be answered about what that season will look like, but again let’s ignore that. What we can see is that many fans are on board. They are buying tickets and are ready to be there when stadiums open up.
Restaurant re-openings: In the past few weeks, many states have relaxed business restrictions and re-opened their economies. Rules vary, but many restaurants, breweries, wineries can open with limited capacity or outdoor seating only. Many of these establishments seem to be filling available capacity on most days. People are ready to go out.
Vegas casinos: The Vegas strip will be reopening today. This weekend and coming weeks will provide key indicators to answer our question. But there is one indicator already out there that is flashing green. Flight and hotel bookings are jumping significantly for the months of June and July due to the re-opening. People are ready to get out and gamble, and this information is even more significant as it incorporates another hard-hit industry: flying and traveling. It does not seem to be a concern here as interest rises.
Protests: The importance of the civil unrest and protest across the country notwithstanding, the large gatherings at protests provide some insight. People are prepared to gather together for things that are important to them. Admittedly, the reasons for protest are more important that your favorite artist’s concert or team’s game. However, the point remains.
The indicators are fairly positive that fans will be back at concerts and games as soon as they can. This is not surprising given the burdens of quarantine and social distancing. We are social animals. The need to “get out and do” is even more prevalent given the character of the Unites States. We will solve COVID-19. And if it can’t keep us from spending our money, eating at our favorite restaurants, gambling our money, and protesting for social justice, it has no chance against keeping us from Luke Combs and BTS. Or for this dedicated live music fan in Cleveland, classical music.