The mayors of New York and Los Angeles have said that live concerts and festivals are unlikely to return until 2021, as the US remains in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said: “It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year.”
He then went on to echo comments by California governor Gavin Newsom, who previously suggested that live music shows may not be able to be held in California until a coronavirus vaccine has been developed.
“I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly,” Newsom said.
“But until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention, or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has also said that large public gatherings may be “one of the last things that we bring back online.”
“I’ve got to see in my city real steady progress, even to start to think about relaxing some of those social distancing standards even a little bit,” said De Blasio.
“I want to get people back to work, of course. I want to get kids back to school. But I think it will take months to go through that whole sequence. And the last thing I want to do is gather 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 people in one place, that’s like the exact opposite of social distancing.”
This follows on from the grim prediction for the live music industry that was made recently by the US public health expert Zeke Emanuel, who poured scorn on concert promoters who were rescheduling gigs and festivals for later this year.
“Larger gatherings – conferences, concerts, sporting events – when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return,” Emmanuel said in the New York Times-hosted video conference. “Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
A number of event production companies who are usually responsible for building stages at Coachella have now turned their attention to help build coronavirus triage tents and temporary hospital structures in the US in a bid to combat the deadly disease.
At the time of writing, over 28,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US.