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Surveys spell mixed future for live, show events are missed

A number of surveys released in recent weeks have highlighted a potential hesitancy among the public to return to live music events once they reopen, although a high demand for online live experiences indicates the appetite for live music is as strong as ever.

Surveys conducted by Triple J radio in Australia, Reuters/Ipsos and United Talent Agency (UTA) in the US and YouGov in the UK have told a tale of mixed fortunes for the live events industry.

A poll carried out by Australia’s Triple J radio, which predominantly targets the 18 to 24 age bracket, has found that 57% of the 1,500 listeners that responded would attend a music festival before a Covid-19 vaccine is created, whereas almost the same percentage (55%) of the 4,429 Americans surveyed in the Reuters poll state they do not believe live entertainment events should restart before a vaccine is available.

The UTA data, collected from almost 1,100 US respondents, shows a similar division of opinions.  Of the concertgoers surveyed, 90%  state they have sought to replace the live music experience in some way during the coronavirus lockdown, with 48% watching footage from past live performances and 46% tuning in to a livestream.

The importance of entertainment to people during this time is clear, as UTA’s data shows that 70% of respondents are enjoying watching paid-for livestreamed concerts and performances, just 3% less than those watching the free versions.

The importance of entertainment to people during this time is clear

In accordance with a recent Bandsintown survey, almost three-quarters (73%) of UTA respondents state an intention to continue accessing livestreamed content post-coronavirus, with 67% intending to carry on paying for this kind of content.

However, the same respondents are divided in their willingness to return to the real thing. Just under half (47%) say they would attend a small or intimate concert within the first month of restrictions being lifted, with that percentage sitting at 39% for arena or stadium gigs and festivals.

About a quarter of respondents state they are unsure when they would be willing to return to live events, indicating the uncertainty characterising this stage of the lockdown process.

In the UK, a YouGov poll of more than 2,000 adults shows that people want a staggered lifting of lockdown restrictions, with the reopening of large events such as festival falling low on the priority list for many (59%).

Contastingly, a recent survey of US consumers by MRC Data, shows that nearly 60% of Americans would be willing to attend a live event within two months of the pandemic passing, with 65% of users of event discovery platform Bandsintown also saying the the outbreak will not affect their willingness to attend a public gathering.


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