Reemergence of concerts brews excitement, draws concern


Photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Pitbull performs live in Las Vegas on Apr. 28, 2018.

It’s March 2020. You and all your friends are so excited to go see Taylor Swift live in concert. You’ve been waiting for months to see her perform. And now, arenas are closing because COVID-19 is starting to spread. No one knows when arenas will open again and when all the canceled tours will happen again.

After a long 18 months of the pandemic, live music and concerts are finally back and better than ever. Artists such as Harry Styles, The Jonas Brothers, and Pitbull have officially started their tours that had been postponed due to COVID-19. “It’s a step towards normality,’’ sophomore Gurnoor Sodhi said.

In order to attend live shows in arenas you must either provide a negative COVID-19 test or provide your vaccination card. Arenas such as Capital One Arena, PPG Paints, LA Forum and Madison Square Garden are also requiring everyone to wear a mask while inside the arenas. “They could go half capacity and also require social distancing,” English teacher Nicholas Confino said.

People are concerned about concerts starting again because not all states in the U.S. have high vaccination rates, unlike Maryland. Although there are areas that are struggling with the Delta variant, as long as “people are being responsible about it it’s okay,” Sodhi said.

Outdoor concerts have been around since before the pandemic, but since then, it seems outdoor concerts make people feel safer than indoor ones. When you’re outside, there is better airflow and distancing is an easier thing to do. “I wouldn’t be comfortable going to an indoor [show] but I would be going to an outdoor one,” freshman Madeline Zincke said. 

Arenas have been opening up at full capacity to host artists like Pitbull. Full capacity shows can result in COVID-19 outbreaks seeing as arenas like Madison Square Garden have a capacity of 20,789 people. “[I’m] really excited but still a little bit nervous about crowds and space,” history resource teacher Laura Parsons said.

I feel like I am risking my kids’ safety if there’s a breakthrough case and I bring it home.”

— Nicholas Confino

Anyone who is coming into the country from a foreign country has to have a negative test 19 days before their flight and must quarantine. They must also show proof of vaccination in order to enter the country. Artists who are touring are also getting covid tests for themselves and their bands and crews frequently. Not all areas in the U.S. have high vaccination rates so people have to be careful at these crowded events. “There are some areas of the country that are struggling with the Delta variant,” Confino said.

Right now concerts can be determined as superspreaders for covid. Going to these shows can not only risk the health of those attending shows but the health of their friends and family, especially those with preexisting health conditions. “I feel like I am risking my kids’ safety if there’s a breakthrough case and I bring it home,” Confino said. For more information on rules and precautions in local arenas like The Anthem and Capital One arena, visit their official websites.