Mar 15, 2021

From Luxembourg to London: The Return of Live 2021


The last 12 months has been the most challenging period faced by the music industry to date, with widespread closures forcing live music to take a backseat in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

With major German festivals such as Rock am Ring and Rock am Park being postponed for the second year in a row, live music has become a demoralising feat for artists and fans alike. This article sets out to disband superstitions, present the facts and prepare everyone for the Return of Live in 2021. 

The Return of Live 2021 in Europe – The Map

The European live industry body, Pearle have released a map detailing the live music low-down from country-to-country. It shows the return of live music and which countries are accepting performances, are allowing rehearsals or remaining closed for the time being. The map provides a visual representation of live music returning to our stages in the near future, it is really exciting to see!

Europe’s First Steps

Luxembourg has led the way following the return of live music in Europe this winter. On February 15th, 100 lucky masked attendees got to witness bands take to the stage, an event from what seemed like a past life. Elsewhere, live sectors in areas such as Italy, Spain, and Sweden are either open under conditions or open with exceptions.

‘Post-COVID’ Experiences in Australia

Lightyears ahead, over the Pacific, Australians are rejoicing over the return of live music in the first of ‘post-COVID’ experiences. Notable performances came from Tame Impala Sound System (Perth) and Midnight Oil (Adelaide), and they did not disappoint. Fans were seen hugging, dancing and rejoicing, wetting the appetites of Europeans in anticipation for summer 2021.

‘Historical’ Event in Amsterdam

Meanwhile, thousands of Dutch residents took part in Back to Live events. Recently, 1,300 people entered Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome enjoying sets from local DJs. The event, organised from 3pm till 7pm in compliance with the nationwide curfew, saw partiers separated into bubbles upon entrance. Fans were required to present a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of attending as well as 5 days after. The event described as ‘historical’ sold out in 20 minutes with around 100,000 people applying for tickets. 

5,000 Tested Fans in Barcelona

Barcelona is hosting its first non-socially distanced concert in March 2021. 5,000 fans will gather at the Palau Sant Jordi to see Spanish indie-pop band, Love of Lesbian. Gig-goers will be required to wear masks and present a negative COVID-19 test on the same day of the event.

No More Social Distancing In the UK

The United Kingdom has announced to scrap all social distancing measures by June 21st sparking surges in demand and sellouts across events and festivals nationwide.

Big Chance for Small Festivals & Artists in Germany

Of course, the news that the big festivals in Germany have been cancelled hits us hard. The situation in Germany is too uncertain for further planning and we can fully understand that. We hope that the organisers will survive the economic damage and be compensated financially. But no bad news comes without good news: festival-goers now have their weekend budget for one festival ready for three smaller festivals. There is a great chance that small festivals will be held in the summer in line with the pandemic and the infection, and that thousands, if not tens of thousands of artists will be able to cushion their economic loss and, above all, finally play again.

Be prepared

Already last summer, mind you, without vaccinations and rapid tests, events with up to 1,000 visitors were permitted in Germany, some with up to 2,000 visitors. This is now the big chance for small festivals! With live music slowly returning in 2021, we’re calling on gigmit artists and promoters to be prepared.

For Promoters

On gigmit there is now the possibility of flexible booking for festivals, which can book at short notice, can commit to local artists without travel restrictions and can use fan analytics to see how much awareness of the artist will contribute to ticket sales.

→ Sign-up as a promoter for free here and create your gig here.

In general, though, festivals can feel safe because if about half a million festival tickets can’t be sold due to cancellations in Germany, up to 500 more small festivals can sell out. Good news for the new generation and diversity – so also for gigmit!

For Artists

With the revival of events and festivals comes line-ups that need to be filled. Opportunities are out there and so is the demand. We advise all artists to check our gig pages regularly. Update your profiles and start making this summer one to remember. 

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The fans are ready… are you?

Let’s Be Prepared for the Return of Live 2021
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