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Large music events may not return until autumn 2021, healthcare expert warns

“Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest”

Large gatherings like concerts and festivals are unlikely to return to normal until autumn 2021, at the earliest, according to bioethicist and professor of healthcare management, Zeke Emanuel.

Speaking as part of a recent roundtable about restarting the US economy after coronavirus, Emanuel, who is the director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, said that he had “no idea” why people rescheduling “larger gatherings” such as concerts or festivals for later in 2020 “think that’s a plausible possibility”. “I think those things will be the last to return,” he said “Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages,” he explained. “And it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. 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. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

You can read the full discussion between Emanuel, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Anne Case, Vanita Gupta, Peter Singer and moderator Emily Bazelon here, for New York Times Magazine. 

The coronavirus pandemic has done immeasurable damage to the music industry, with clubs, venues and festivals across the globe facing closures and cancellations. Everything from Burning Man and Glastonbury to much smaller summer gatherings have been cancelled or postponed. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen innumerable festivals cancelled or postponed, and countless clubs closed indefinitely, DJ Mag are asking our readers — if they can — to support venues and other nightlife causes that are under threat. We have curated a support directory here, demonstrating the ways you can help.