It is no secret that the music industry has stood out as one of the spaces most effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Joey Armstrong of SWMRS speaks to how the past year has been a tough time for many members of the industry, especially independent acts and venues that have taken a hit during the postponement of live entertainment. Here, Joey Armstrong discusses a few of the notable ways COVID-19 continues to impact the space about a year in.
Closing of Iconic Local Venues
As a consequence of the tour postponements that took place in 2020, several independent venues were forced to permanently close. Joey Armstrong of SWMRS and many musicians see this as an immensely unfortunate casualty of the pandemic. This is because, not only did many musicians start at such venues, but they also are an important part of the culture. While the financial impacts that these closings have on the owners are evident, there is an equally real emotional fallout as well. These venues are the product of lifetime dedications to music and the arts, and they will be mourned greatly by their owners, music fans, and musicians alike.
Artists Get Creative
The cancellation and postponement of live shows put many working musicians in a difficult position. Joey Armstrong of SWMRS notes that the sudden change necessitated quick thinking by artists and their representation. For example, several artists looked to streaming to give fans a taste of the experience that many have missed. Streaming concerts has proven to be a great way for artists to connect with their fans and get back to playing music. Artists have also taken to other methods to keep working through the pandemic, with some establishing roles as music tutors and finding other ways to utilize their skillsets.
The Demand for Live Shows Continues to Increase
Many music fans were far from excited about the need to postpone live entertainment to accommodate social distancing and shut down measures, however, many recognized the importance of doing so for the greater good. Now, almost a year later, fans have had plenty of time to miss their hobby and are looking forward to getting back to it. While tours have still not resumed and we are not out of the woods yet as far as the pandemic is concerned, there is hope on the horizon for live shows. Joey Armstrong of SWMRS acknowledges that artists have begun considering when it will be safe to resume concerts as vaccine rollout improves. It is likely that these shows will look different from the packed houses that occurred before the pandemic, but artists and fans are excited to partake in festivities regardless of how they look. Many experts believe that, while the climb to “business as usual” may take some time, we can expect that 2022 will be a historic year for live entertainment.