After over a year and a half of COVID, things are beginning to return to normal. Kids are back in schools, indoor restaurant seating is available, and live shows have finally returned. But what is it like to go to see live music amid this transitional period of the pandemic?
Many artists have returned to the big stage, announcing shows for their canceled tours and for music they’ve released in the past year.
Catriona McKim, senior, has already been to a few concerts since the start of the pandemic. She’s seen The Jonas Brothers and Harry Styles. To compare, the Jonas Brothers show was held at an outdoor venue, while the Styles concert was held indoors at the Xcel Energy Center, made for high attendance and big events. The processes for getting in were pretty different.
“The Jonas Brothers didn’t require any proof of vaccination and a lot of people were not wearing masks, despite the large attendance and no social distancing,” said McKim.
The Harry Styles concert, however, required a CDC-issued vaccination card or a negative COVID test from the past 48 hours. Despite all of this, McKim reported that pretty much everyone wore a mask the entire night, even when it got hot indoors.
I myself just went to a concert, St. Vincent at the Armory. Similar to the Harry concert, the show was indoors. What I thought was interesting was how efficient the process was for getting in the door. They checked your vaccination card or your negative COVID test, stamped your hand, and managed the regular security procedures all within a couple of minutes. At St. Vincent though, most people were not concerned with wearing masks like they were at the Harry Styles concert, though Styles had a much higher attendance.
“I definitely felt more comfortable at the Harry Styles concert, even though it was indoors. The lack of COVID precautions at the Jonas Brothers made me a little concerned,” said McKim.
Though venues like Xcel Energy and the Armory seem to be adjusting to this new way of hosting concerts, questions remain as to what the Delta variant aspect will bring to events with large crowds like live shows.