Extraordinary Events Podcast

Ep 49: Covid-19’s Impact on Concerts with Jess Conrad

February 04, 2021 Extraordinary Events
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 49: Covid-19’s Impact on Concerts with Jess Conrad
Chapters
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 49: Covid-19’s Impact on Concerts with Jess Conrad
Feb 04, 2021
Extraordinary Events

Does anyone else miss going to a crowded arena to watch a live performance from your favorite artist? Although Covid-19 has taken away how we originally thought of concerts, many venues are adapting what a normal concert would look like in order to perform in front of live crowds again. In this episode, Jess Conrad, a self proclaimed concert junkie, gives her reaction to concerts coming to a halt back in March, the  dynamic of concerts before the pandemic, and after the pandemic, as well as how  concerts may be affected long-term due to the pandemic.

Interested in our Friday webinar series? It starts back up this Friday, February 5, and continues every Friday for the rest of the year. February's series theme is on Online Event Technology. To register for this free event, click here: https://go.unl.edu/nextlevelevents

Want to connect with us in other ways? Connect to all our social channels at our website, extraordinaryeventinitiative.com!

Show Notes Transcript

Does anyone else miss going to a crowded arena to watch a live performance from your favorite artist? Although Covid-19 has taken away how we originally thought of concerts, many venues are adapting what a normal concert would look like in order to perform in front of live crowds again. In this episode, Jess Conrad, a self proclaimed concert junkie, gives her reaction to concerts coming to a halt back in March, the  dynamic of concerts before the pandemic, and after the pandemic, as well as how  concerts may be affected long-term due to the pandemic.

Interested in our Friday webinar series? It starts back up this Friday, February 5, and continues every Friday for the rest of the year. February's series theme is on Online Event Technology. To register for this free event, click here: https://go.unl.edu/nextlevelevents

Want to connect with us in other ways? Connect to all our social channels at our website, extraordinaryeventinitiative.com!

Dr. K: In the Intro to Events class, students have to show mastery of the design thinking process. Students are able to show this mastery in a variety of different ways such as designing a training video, a game, or even a podcast. They are able to choose any topic and organize their activity in any way that they want as long as they follow this design process. These student created podcasts have offered so many insights into what students are thinking and experiencing that I have decided to take two Thursday's a month to feature at these works of art. I hope you enjoy today’s student created podcast!

Jess: Hi everyone my name is Jess Conrad and I'm a sophomore Hospitality Restaurant and Tourism Management major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and if there is absolutely one thing you need to know about me, it is my love for concerts. Pre-Covid me attended a show at least once a month and the week before our University sent us home for covid, I went to five shows in one week, five shows in one week! This is why I chose my major to be a part of the live entertainment industry and give the same experience to others that I feel when I attend a  live show. 

Unfortunately as we all know the coronavirus and the pandemic has taken away live shows of how we originally thought of them. It's left artists and bands canceling their tours laying off their tour crews. It's a venue shutting their doors down because they can't afford to pay the bills and it's left us, the fans, anxiously awaiting for the return of the live music scene again. I try to be an optimistic person and that is exactly why I'm making this podcast episode. Today, we are going to discuss the future of live events, concerts, festivals you name it, due to the everlasting effects this pandemic may cause. 

The first point I want to talk about is the dynamic between my last show before the pandemic, and the first show I went to during the pandemic. In March of earlier this year I attended a show at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. This show was a concert that I had free tickets to, and it featured the rap artist Da Baby among some other rap, artists. This arena was packed with fans. The whole floor was a giant pit, and the lower bowl where I was sitting was also very crowded. Only a few days later after that show UNL had announced that everyone needed to go back home as instruction was turning into remote only. The next show I went to wasn't until August, five months after the pandemic began. This was a concert at an outdoor venue called Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater and the Beach Boys were the headliners. 

This leads me to my next point about the safety and the regulations that went into play at the Beach Boys show. First off the capacity at Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln is up to 5,500 people just regularly, normally without covid. For social distancing reasons this Beach Boys show got capped aat to 2,200 people and the seats were all spread out across the outdoor venue. Everyone was required to wear a mask even though the show was outside, unless you were actively eating or drinking. There were limited concessions and the Beach Boys had not brought a merch crew, just so they could encourage people and fans to shop online and limit those face-to-face interactions. Overall, it was a really great show and there was a lot of risk mitigation that the Pinewood Bowl crew had done to make it just a huge success and I highly recommend for event planners to hold more events outside. 

Another type of show that is gaining popularity in these times are live shows that have absolutely no audiences. But those audiences that watch are watching the via live stream. As some people may know this is another defining trait in my life, One Direction has been my all-time favorite band growing up and still to this day even though they haven’t been together in over five years. Although now each member is pursuing their own solo endeavors and one of these members is Niall Horan who has already released two full length albums. He was supposed to go on a world tour this year to perform his most recent album but unfortunately had to cancel the tour because of the pandemic. Most recently he did a live stream that reached over a hundred and fifty-one countries. This live stream came from the Royal Albert Hall in London and tickets to the livestream costed about 20 dollars, and people were able to make additional donations, which I did an additional donation as well. All of the proceeds of these donations and of the show itself went to Nialls tour crew, who lost their jobs because of the pandemic and the We Need Crew Tour Relief Fund because the government, especially the UK government hasn't been very receptive in providing funding and relief towards touring crews and just people in the live entertainment industry. There were over 90,000 tickets sold and these ticket holders got to witness a full production show with no audience in the hall. 

In a live stream on Niall's Instagram before the show, he mentioned that about 20 to 30 crew members and helped set up, tear down the stage, and help with all of his technical needs. It was a huge success and I personally love putting my money towards an industry that means the world to me and I hope that artists and bands can continue to provide these opportunities to their touring crews, to provide relief to these funds like the We Need Crew Tour Relief Fund. 

Overall the pandemic has hindered our thoughts on what a traditional concert may look like, but I'm so excited to see the future and the creativity and the adaptability that artists and bands will do to perform in front of live crowds again. Another thing that inspired me to do this podcast was an article from The Guardian and it talks about a step-by-step process of what current music festivals are doing to perform in front of live crowds again and a lot of these include just pods, again having these shows outside, and just being safe, socially distance, mask up, and if we continue to do our part hopefully we'll be able to see a live show again. So thank you for listening and feel free to keep up with me and all of my entertainment stories on my Instagram @HappilyJessica. Bye y'all!  

Dr. K: Thank you so much to Jessica Conrad for this amazing student created podcast for today! It’s so interesting, because as I’m sure you can all imagine, students will create these podcasts as part of their class, and then we will schedule them, because we only post student created podcasts every other Thursday. And so Jess actually completed this podcast in November of 2020, yet it releases in February of 2021. And it’s just fascinating to see the changes in our industry just within a few short months. Of what we thought were trends that are not trends. What we didn’t even realize were trends are now longstanding trends. And it’s been fascinating and amazing to get their involvement and their passion and their excitement. And I just finished teaching my first synchronous class online to the Intro to Events students this year, and I’m already getting requests to be doing the student created podcasts. Super fun, not required, totally optional but I really appreciate all their passion and love for this. And with that, thank you all so much for taking the time to make the time. I’ll talk with you soon!