2020 has been a rough year for everyone. Concert Venues have been hit particularly hard this year. Unlike restaurants, you can’t DoorDash a concert. With the release of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and Sunday night’s stimulus deal, which includes a $15 Billion, “Save Our Stages” package, hope is finally on the way!
Over the last year, many of us have done our part to self-quarantine in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Humans are social creatures and quarantine exhaustion is real. As soon as access to the vaccine is opened-up to the general population, concertgoers will flock to it. As humans, we crave social interaction and nothing is more social than sharing live music together.
Warm spring weather, plus a vaccine, will lead to a new roaring 20’s. Concerts will become a huge part of that party in 2021 (and beyond). Here are three things concert venues need to do in preparation for the coming tidal wave of concertgoers this Summer:
Require proof of a vaccine for entry - Following the successful lobbying efforts around the “Save Our Stages” stimulus package, the National Independent Venue Association must now turn their attention to ensuring independent venues and concertgoers implement vaccine checks similar to Live Nation’s announcement, last November. In this plan, Live Nation will require ticket purchasers verify their vaccine status or provide documentation of passing a COVID test, 48-hours in advance of an event.
Require masks and make hygiene a priority - Vaccine and testing checks are a great step towards ensuring everyone’s safety, but they aren’t entirely fool-proof. People will circumvent the system, which is why masks should still be required for entry to, and during an event. Make hand sanitizer accessible at every bar, merch table and in bathrooms.
Marketing, marketing, marketing - After a year of being cooped-up, people will be chomping at the bit to get back to live events. There is no better time than now to do a digital check-up to ensure your website has all of the proper details, event pages are up-to-date, ticket links work and COVID protection/prevention measures are clearly stated. Every venue is going to book as many artists as possible and social media feeds will be inundated with sponsored posts. So, this is also the time to differentiate your approach to reaching fans. Social media advertising engagement rates are a paltry 3% on a good day but Messaging is on the rise. Free services such as Tixxy, send fans personalized concert alerts via text, based on the music they listen to. SMS marketing brings with it, 98% open-rates (compared to 20% with email and 3% for Social Media). This is a great way to get the word out to concertgoers at no cost to you without resorting to TikTok dances.
We’re not out of the woods yet and it’s premature to celebrate, but 2021 is poised to be a re-birth and banner year for the live music industry and fans alike. Everyone needs to do their part to ensure we can get back to partying. I’m a firm believer, 2021 will be the year live music makes its triumphant return.