Dr. Fauci says concerts could return in the fall
With vaccinations against COVID beginning to roll out across the country, tours and festivals have also been revealing rescheduled dates, some for later this year. Live Nation President Joe Berchtold expressed optimism in December that concerts could be held this summer, but the actual timeline may wind up being more delayed, especially as vaccinations are happening more slowly than anticipated. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Fauci recently made his own estimate about the return of live performances. The New York Times reports that Fauci, speaking at a conference held by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, said that he thought theaters and music venues could reopen "some time in the fall of 2021."
That timing depends on a large enough percentage of the population receiving the vaccine for "herd immunity" to be reached, around 70-85%, Fauci continued. "If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience," he said.
Fauci also said that if enough people are vaccinated, and if theaters and venues have the proper ventilation and air filtration systems set up, audience restrictions other than mask wearing might not be necessary. "I think you can then start getting back to almost full capacity of seating," he told Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Program Director for the Arts Maurine Knighton.
He also pointed to a 2020 German study, the results of which suggested that with safety guidelines in place, the risk of COVID transmission at shows could be low.
Along with the indefinite shutdown of music venues, Broadway has been shut down through at least May of 2021.