When Dr. Anthony Fauci said “If everything goes right, [live concerts] will occur sometime in the fall of 2021” many of us thought he was completely wrong. Yet here we are, still left without concerts in the United States. We have seen the likes of prerecorded performances, livestreams, and even drive-in concerts, but most artists have refrained from having live concerts unless they really want the coronavirus. So, when can we expect concerts to really start coming back? I did some research to find a reasonable time for them to come back.
Currently, most of the United States is waiting for a vaccine, or currently being vaccinated. According to data from March 23rd, 2021, 84 million (or 25%) people in the United States have had their first dose of the vaccine. 45 million (or 14%) of the population is fully vaccinated. To reach herd immunity, which means that most of the population is immune, and the virus has nowhere to spread, estimates say we need to be at around 70% to 95% of the population fully vaccinated. At the current rate of vaccination, that goal could be reached by Fall or Winter 2021. And that looks like when most of the festivals and concerts will be back.
Many of the festivals coming this summer are in states with more lax coronavirus restrictions like Florida and Texas. Rolling Loud Miami, possibly the largest hip-hop music festival in the United States, plans to happen May 7th – 9th with its 2020 lineup. Electric Daisy Festival in Las Vegas is planned for May 21-23rd. And there are many more festivals looking at fall dates including Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza both in Chicago. If you are willing to risk the coronavirus, or you are vaccinated, you may be able to find some festivals to enjoy this summer and fall.
While some festivals are happening this year, some others are refraining and instead moved to next year. Coachella 2021 was moved from its previous date in October 2021 to April 2022. South by Southwest 2021 was held online but current plans are to have South by Southwest from March 11-20th in Austin, Texas. Ultra Music Festival in Miami was also moved to March of 2022. Different festivals are choosing different ways of handling coronavirus, but most are choosing to wait until 2022 out of safety for the performers and the concertgoers.
Lastly, what are artists doing? Almost every artist performing in 2020 (except The Chainsmokers and Smash Mouth) moved their concerts and tours to 2021 or even 2022 if they originally planned for a 2021 spring tour. Smaller artists are starting to perform in smaller venues again, but major artists are refraining until the end of 2021 to start touring again. The Weeknd starts off 2022 with his worldwide tour and a Chicago appearance January 23-24th 2022. So, if you are planning on waiting for your favorite artist to come to your city, plan on waiting until next year.
It turns out that Fauci was right all along, and live concerts will be in full swing by Fall or Winter 2021. There are a few festivals and concerts happening this summer but only because they are smaller or are in states with fewer coronavirus restrictions. But by the start of next year, we will be much closer to normal than we have been, and most people will finally be able to see their favorite artists perform live.