COVID Update: Live Music Venues Reopen
Live music venues to be among last to reopen
Melbourne music fans may have to wait until September 2020 at the earliest before live venues reopen.
That's the prediction from tour promoter Michael Gudinski , who expects large gatherings to be among the last things to resume.
"This is not going to move as quickly as people would like," Mr Gudinski said.
"It's a state-by-state proposition . In Victoria they're starting with some venues that can have 50 people later this month, but I don't think you'll see more than limited capacities in venues until September or October at the earliest.
"You might eventually see venues like The Corner, The Espy and the Northcote Social Club being able to have a quarter or a third of their usual capacity . But I just don't think the switch is going to go ‘bang' and it'll be business as usual."
As it stands, live venues planning to open by August must have reduced capacity, seated audiences and social distancing. Mr Gudinski, who programs entertainment for the AFL Grand Final, said sporting events being allowed to have reduced crowds could be a blueprint for live concerts.
"If sport breaks through a little that will help entertainment . The two are very closely aligned," he said.
Mr Gudinski has also predicted international artists would not start touring Australia again until March 2021.
"I'd love it to start earlier, but you have to use your logic and look at the fact there are still borders shut inside Australia ," he said.
As a promoter, Mr Gudinski said his company would not announce major new tours until government guidelines on capacities are clearer.
"With the smaller capacities it's not going to be great but something is better than nothing ," he said. "If the Myer Music Bowl opened and you're only allowed to put 4000 people in there, I'm no health expert , but you just have to make that work according to the guidelines.
"But this is going to give Australian artists the opportunity to shine and be the focus when they're able to start playing gigs again."
Promoter Duane McDonald , whose Red Hot Summer Tour events have run for 10 years across regional Australia, is preparing for his 2021 season to look very different.
"You can't ignore community anxiety," he said.
"I'll abide by whatever regulations come our way. There are too many people relying on it to not try to make it work, from sound and lighting crew to site cleaning staff. Everyone's affected by this. We'll do everything we possibly can to get the sites safe and approved and back to business. Everyday things seem to be relaxing a little bit more."
The Falls Festival will hold an all-Australian line-up this year if it can go ahead, and other festivals including Meredith and Port Fairy hope to return this year in some way.
Mr McDonald is happy to see other events follow what he's been doing since he began Red Hot Summer Tour.
"It's time for the Aussie artists to shine," he said.
"People love seeing Australian acts. It's great the Australian acts are finally about to get the money from live shows and it won't be going overseas."
Mr Gudinski said it was a matter of patience for those more than ready to rock.
"It's going to be a long road back for the venues, for the artists , for the promoters. We've survived fires and floods. The public has been hit hard by this. Our policy is very fan friendly. We're as frustrated as the public is, but the health of the state is more important than anything."
This article is from the June 2, 2020 issue of The Herald Sun Digital Edition.
To subscribe, visit www.heraldsun.com.au.
summer of music
BIG GIGS STILL LISTED
While many gigs have been cancelled, some have been rescheduled or are yet to be postponed.
Here's how our summer of music looks.
ROD STEWART: Rod Laver Arena October 28, 29
ALANIS MORISSETTE: Rod Laver Arena November 14, 15
THE KILLERS: AAMI Park November 21
STORMZY: Melbourne Arena November 24
HARRY STYLES: Rod Laver Arena, November 28, 29
SIMPLE MINDS: Margaret Court Arena, December 1
5 SECONDS OF SUMMER: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, December 4
DAVID GRAY: Margaret Court Arena, December 5
SOUL II SOUL: Festival Hall, December 12
TAME IMPALA: Rod Laver Arena, December 13, 14
THE NATIONAL: Palais, December 15-17
FAITH NO MORE: Rod Laver Arena, March 1, 2021
BACKSTREET BOYS: Rod Laver Arena, May 3, 4, 2021
BON IVER: Rod Laver Arena, March 21, 2021
PATTI SMITH: Palais, March 28-29 , 2021
❊ When & Where ❊
Happens: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
❊ Be Social ❊
❊ COVID-19 Notice ❊Many locations have gone into lockdown as the state takes action to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19). This event may be affected. Please confirm details, dates, times and costs before making plans | Disclaimer
❊ Web Links ❊→ COVID Update: Live Music Venues Reopen
→ Australian Live Music Tours
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