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Health expert think festivals, concerts may not return until “fall 2021”

An American healthcare expert has warned that festivals and large concerts may not return until fall next year – in other words, September 2021.

The prognosis was revealed in a recent discussion hosted by the New York Times, centred around when and how the American economy could be restarted following the pandemic.

festivals
Photo: Bianca Holderness

Health experts believe that we may not see the return of music festivals, large concerts, and sporting events until at least September next year.

Speaking in the video conference, Zeke Emanuel, a bioethicist and professor of healthcare management, described that it seemed implausible that any large event would return this year:

“Larger gatherings – conferences, concerts, sporting events – when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return.”

“Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest,” he continued.

Around the world, festivals including Glastonbury, as well as our very own Byron Bay Bluesfest and Dark Mofo, have already cancelled their 2020 iterations. Yet many others, including Coachella and Splendour in the Grass, have simply postponed until later in the year.

In terms of re-opening the American economy, Emanuel also didn’t seem too optimistic due to the nation’s slow response to the virus:

“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a worksite that allows people who are at lower risk to come back.”

Whilst Emanuel’s predictions don’t apply directly to Australia, they serve as a relevant guide. Just yesterday, the Australian Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham revealed that Australia’s borders may remain closed until next year.