The live music industry, already hit hard by the COVID pandemic, has seen an increased number of unused concert tickets even as tours have returned.
The acts of veterans with older fan bases – at greater risk of serious COVID infection – have felt the greatest impact. A report from the Wall Street newspaper notes that “for some performances, up to 20% or more of ticket buyers were not present for major artists like Strait of George, the Eagles and Dead & Company. This is in stark contrast to pre-pandemic figures, which typically showed unused purchased ticket rates in the range of 1 to 3 percent.
Predictably enough, the likelihood of no-shows increases with concerts that have been postponed and rescheduled multiple times. Changing a performance date can naturally create conflict for fans who can no longer attend, but the numbers seem to indicate that the continued apprehension of big events amid the ongoing COVID outbreak is the most likely reason for it. ” a decrease in attendance.
“It’s going to take a while to get back to what I think is normal,” said John Meglen, president and co-CEO of Concerts West, indicating that shows would be rescheduled by multiplying by “maybe two, three times, maybe four, I don’t know how many, per Covid. ”
While ticket sales often carry the highest sticker price, concert attendees typically spend money on things like food, drinks, parking, and merchandise. These sources of income disappear when fans don’t show up, and it’s often the theaters themselves that are the most successful.
Clubs, in particular, are seeing higher no-show rates as fans remain concerned about indoor venues where spectators share a small space.
“More and more people are choosing not to go,” Dave Brooks, senior director of live music and touring at Billboard, explained to the Wall Street newspaper. “And that’s scary, because what’s gonna bring them back?” It’s not clear. If people get the idea that they are not safe, you could lose a lot of customers, potentially forever.
Even though vaccination requirements and masking rules have become the norm, concerts – like all large group gatherings – continue to carry risks from COVID. With a new year fast approaching, industry professionals are bracing for new uncertainties.
“2022 is going to be a bumpy road,” Meglen admitted.
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