Top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci anticipates that live entertainment venues could potentially resume audience attendance “sometime in the Fall of 2021.” This was stated during a conference held by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals on Saturday, January 9th. According to The New York Times reports, Fauci voiced that the reopening of live entertainment events is dependent on the vaccine rollout, in addition to requiring a 70% to 85% vaccination rate. Fauci vocalized “If everything goes right, this is will occur sometime in the Fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-Fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.” Even if the United States is capable of reaching herd immunity, Fauci stated that venues and theaters will still need to take proper safety precautions, with an emphasis on events that lack quality ventilation or air filtration systems. It is highly likely that even under perfect circumstances, venues still may require mandatory mask restrictions for some time after the vaccine distribution.
Fauci announced that the industry could be compared to the airline industry when it comes to allowing mass admittance to live events. His predictions entail proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to entry, alongside ventilation precautions and limited capacity guidelines. He cited a recent study in Germany that exhibited indoor events being low-risk if the venue is equipped with proper ventilation systems and limited capacity regulations. The only concern he expressed is that many live events are not financially sustainable without functioning at full capacity.
Although the worldwide pandemic has affected an abundance of industries, the live entrainment sector has been hit the hardest. According to Pollstar, the global concert business alone lost $9.7 billion in ticket sales in the past year, alongside an additional $30 billion in concessions, merchandise and sponsorships. On top of that, a majority of live industry professionals have been considered unemployed throughout the past year, causing several venues to permanently close. Thankfully, the recent passage of the Covid-19 relief bill with targeted aid for the industry will help inhibit further closures. All things considered, Fauci foreshadowed hope to the U.S for a light at the end of the tunnel.