At the onset of the pandemic in America, SXSW was one of the first festivals to announce they would be canceling their 2020 event. Other summer festivals, like Coachella and Lovers And Friends, still held on to hope and at first postponed their dates until the fall. But as the lockdown persisted, nearly every major festival this year made the difficult decision to cancel their events. Even still, festivals like Mad Cool and Outside Lands have already announced their lineup for next summer but Lollapalooza’s co-founder, Marc Geiger, worries they could be a little too eager.
Geiger offered his prediction for the future of live music in a recent segment of the Bob Lefsetz Podcast. When asked his opinion about when large-scale events can return, Geiger said “super-spreader” events like sports and festivals won’t be able to happen until the pandemic is more under control. “In my humble opinion, it’s going to be 2022,” he said.
Continuing to offer his “instinct,” Geiger said: “It’s going to take that long before, what I call, the germaphobic economy is slowly killed off and replaced by the claustrophobia economy – that’s when people want to get out and go out to dinner and have their lives, go to festivals and shows. It’s my instinct, that’s going to take a while because super-spreader events – sports, shows, festivals… aren’t going to do too well when the virus is this present.”
The festival co-founder continued that there are “probably 20” issues to be dealt with before live music can safely return, including “spacing and density” as well as the “infinite liability” festival organizers will face against insurance companies. Geiger concluded that “the next six months may be more painful than the last six months, and maybe the next six months after that are even more so.”
Listen to Geiger’s full interview on the Bob Lefsetz Podcast here.