J B Pritzker

During the governor’s daily coronavirus press briefing, J.B. Pritzker suggested that all “large summer events” may have to be cancelled.

“Until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away, I would not risk having large groups of people getting together anywhere,” Pritzker said in response to a question from a reporter. “Everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events.”

According to NBC Chicago, the governor allowed that this was hard for people to hear, but it was “just a fact” that “even with testing and tracing and treating, it’s necessary for us to begin to make changes. It isn’t enough for me to say that it’s okay to have a big festival with a whole bunch of people gathering together.”

As of right now, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has cancelled or postponed all events through May 15, and will not issue new special event permits through that date.

Summer music festivals are a vital hub in the music industry’s business model, particularly for individual DJs and artists. With social distancing rules, it’s practically impossible to hold a proper music festival or gathering of more than a hundred people at a time. And without music festivals, it seems the process of restarting the creative industries will take that much longer.

It may not just be festivals that are impacted. Metal talent booker Daniel DeFonce wrote a thread outlining the challenges of booking club tours profitably after the coronavirus pandemic abates.

“Too many people are being optimistic about touring in my opinion,” he posted. “This is very hard for me to even say. My life revolves around bands going on tour.

“My opinion on when touring will start back up? Early 2021,” he wrote. “Even if tours happen later this year, the turnouts will be cut in half, capacity of venues will be cut in half or even lower, if they are still in business. People will still be scared to go out even if social distancing is lifted. How many promoters will have funds to back up the loss of any shows?

“I also see a lot of deals being turned into door deals. How many bands can leave home to play shows for door deals?”

Photo: Chi Hack Night / CC BY


Comments are closed.