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The Differences Between Pre- and Post- Pandemic Concert-Going

By Amanda Healy

It is hard to describe the euphoric feeling you get from attending a concert of an artist you love. The ability to dance freely to live music and to scream the lyrics of your favorite songs with the artist themselves can be life-changing. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts, along with many other industries, stopped for more than a year.

After a long two years, it is now March 2022, and we are living in a post-COVID world. But, things definitely look different. When purchasing concert tickets, pre- and post- COVID, it is possible to buy them up to months, or even years in advance. It was a disheartening experience, though, to finally snag tickets to an event, get excited, and then have the show get rescheduled or canceled.

Masks and proof of vaccination have been required at most venues since shows started up again. While it is a necessary safety precaution, wearing masks does change the overall experience;It feels like there is a barrier between you, and the ability to fully let go. When singing and dancing, your mask can slip down your face, so you have to constantly readjust it. This was not something you had to worry about pre-pandemic.

Another aspect of concerts that has changed since the pandemic is meet and greets. While not all artists have canceled them, many have had to do so, to reduce the risk of getting COVID and canceling shows. Many diehard fans loved the opportunity to meet their idols, but this option is simply not as feasible for now. However, there are still alternative experiences for fans to meet some singers, such as attending soundchecks.

Gracie Abrams performed at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Feb. 12, 2022. It was a fantastic show, and her soundcheck was very special. With the safety of the mask requirement, a small group of fans were able to talk to her and hear her play some music for around 30 minutes. You were able to meet her without purchasing an individual meet and greet, and the distance provided another level of precaution for Abrams.

When looking at concerts in a COVID-19 world, it has been interesting to see the difference in experiences between venues. The Jonas Brothers kicked off their “Remember This Tour” in August 2021, at the Park Theater in Las Vegas. This was the only venue on the tour that was indoors—the rest being outdoor venues and amphitheaters. Vegas had two fantastic shows, but you still had to wear masks, taking away from the traditional concert experience most people are used to. Later in October, the brothers played Fenway Park, where masks were not required since it was outdoors. It was nice to be outside—having fresh air, singing, dancing, and not feeling as confined. Playing mostly outdoor spaces was a thoughtful decision.

One positive of the pandemic was that it gave many artists a needed break, and more time to write and release new music. In addition, the anticipation of playing live shows created an overwhelming demand for artists to hit the road, especially with their new material. Now, after so much time apart, there are an abundance of options if you want to see a show, because everyone is so eager to get out and play again.

Seeing a concert after the outbreak of COVID-19 has definitely been different. The fear of getting the coronavirus and the requirement of masks and proof of vaccinations are additional steps you need to take in order to attend. However, it is still worth it, as nothing beats live music and the thrill of seeing your favorite band.


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