Bad news for musicians and concert promoters: A new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll suggests Americans will not go out to see live music until a coronavirus vaccine exists. Ditto movie theaters, sporting events, and amusement parks. Mask or no mask, it looks like most people intend to steer clear of large gatherings well beyond the end of this year.
Based on interviews with 4,429 American adults between April 15 to 21, the Reuters/Ipsos data suggests foreboding conclusions for the entertainment industry. Even among those who say they regularly attend concerts and other similar events, only 40% say they would return before a vaccine exists. Another 40% say they’d remain home pending a vaccine, while the remaining 20% said they either don’t know what they’ll do or may never attend such events again.
A whopping 59% of respondents say theme parks should not reopen until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, and only 20% say they’d attend one before then. Just 27% of Americans say they’ll return to movie theaters before a COVID-19 vaccine is available. The number is even more meager when you switch to sports: Just 17% said they would attend a sporting event before a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Among those who’ve attended sporting events in the past year, the portion rises to 42%. As for whether pro sports leagues should resume with no audiences in the stands for now, 59% agree, while 33% disagree.
No such solution is available for movie theaters. But if cineplex owners are doomed, viewers can at least watch would-be theatrical releases at home, a rollout method that may well endure even once coronavirus concerns are quelled. A new Wall Street Journal report suggests the smashing success of Trolls World Tour’s direct release into homes will inspire studios to offer more VOD options when a film first comes out.
The data certainly does not suggest this fall’s rescheduled Coachella and other postponed music festivals will be happening. Maybe some more obscure artists will be able to pull off small-scale tours, but in the interim between a flattened curve and a vaccine, we may on track for livestreams, livestreams, and more livestreams.