Like most concert promoters, I’m having a weird relationship with music right now…. and basically have been since April 2020 after the realization that ‘quarantining wasn’t just a 2-week deal for March’. One moment, I’m listening to an album or watching a concert film and I’m elated with joy and singing out loud from the comfort of my couch. Then a few seconds pass and I process the reality that is the world of COVID and suddenly I’m wiping tears from my eyes. Music was never supposed to be complicated. It was supposed to be an escape. But for those of us who have lost work, jobs, and lifestyles from live music being cancelled for just about a year now are wondering…. will our normalcy ever return?
I’m filling the void with spending hours at local record shops on the weekends. I even ‘safely’ invited a few quarantined friends over to my home last October to throw our own ‘Voodoo Fest‘ to fill our yearly festival initiative. But still, I find myself listening to less and less music each day because honestly, it just makes me sad.
I’ve tried to occupy my time with moving to a new state, getting new employment, and discovering a new city, but I still can’t seem to shake my biggest passion and can’t quite seem to fill the hole in my heart that is live music. Puppy adoption pending…
Will 2021 Be Different?
We ‘Super Bowled’ recently with a largely vaccinated crowd. I’ll be curious to see the implications of a large gathering in the days to come. Governments and communities have done little to care for artists and event industry folks working in their cities.
It breaks my heart to see so many concert promoter friends who are so passionate about our industry and their jobs, now out of work. We are some of the people who work all hours of the day and into the night to host live shows for hundreds and thousands of fans at a time to enjoy the world of escapism. We function best on active lives, minimal sleep, and poor eating and drinking habits. Now… we have time on our hands, sleep a lot, and sit at home, unemployed, waiting for the world to get back on their feet and into a venue.
What’s Happening Now?
The depression, anxiety, and suicide rates have understandably increased among event industry professionals…. and what exactly is being done about it? Some folks, like myself have moved onto corporate roles, have shifted industries completely, are making weekly themed pancakes with their kids, or have magically lucked out in snagging a promoter role at a boutique venue that’s able to pull off money making socially-distanced shows at a small capacity.
I’m not sure I’ll feel normalcy until I’m in a sweaty pit head-banging with strangers and my fellow concert promoters, wondering if I’ll lose my hearing tomorrow while dancing to the bass reverberations ricocheting from my chest. Why should we have to adapt to a different career and life that isn’t our passion? That’s dumb.
Until then… be well my friends and industry pals. I hope we’re as resilient as Cher’s 10,000 ‘going-away-tours’. Be well.