In difficult times it’s easy to let optimism cloud your ability to perceive reality. There is a saying that nothing focuses a man’s attention like his imminent execution. But, in reality, you feel no pain even while your neck rests on the wooden base of the guillotine. By the time the blade cuts you’re already dead. It is imperative to act before the pain or you’ve lost the window to shape the end game.
This is not an empty metaphor. Early in this Covid-19 crisis I predicted Coachella would cancel and when it was rescheduled to October I was equally forceful that date would never stick. My predictions out of the gate have been sports won’t occur in 2020 except perhaps in empty rooms. I’ve consistently said nothing of consequence will happen live until at least April 2021.
Since then, Broadway continues to push back the return to performances which they are now projecting for January 2021. Concerts you can attend without watching from your car are unlikely this year. Who could have ever imagined applause would be replaced by the honking of horns?
Yesterday, June 24th, 2020 Outside Lands gave up the year and announced tickets will be on sale today for the Fall of 2021. This morning Bonnaro canceled their 2020 rescheduled festival. The last men standing in festivals for 2020 are BottleRock in Napa, CA on October 2nd-4th and Austin City Limits in Texas that same weekend and again the weekend following. I’m still holding my BottleRock tickets in hopes of seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I already released my hotel reservations. It’s not happening.
As a further indicator of how difficult progress is in California, Disneyland has postponed their reopening which was to take place on July 17th. No new date is set. Texas is less predictable, but this morning the governor paused their reopening — halting any further businesses from opening as Covid-19 cases spike and Houston emergency rooms near capacity.
The ticket industry is full of shuttered theaters, teams which cannot play and concerts which are be again rescheduled, after having already being pushed from Spring 2020 to Fall 2020. Everyone who still has a job is acutely aware their company cannot continue to function on zero revenues. The second wave of job cuts is coming fast. So, in an effort to postpone what’s coming they’re…