The entertainment industry has taken a hard hit due to COVID-19. I could not imagine a summer that is not filled with outdoor concerts, festivals, group gatherings to see my favorite entertainers. Summer 2020 is well underway and there is no relief insight to possibly attend a typical summer concert. The entertainment business as we know it is and will continue to change to meet the new societal norms during the COVID-19 pandemic. How will the industry survive as most entertainers make their money on the road doing live shows and performances?
2020 seems to be cancelled as we know it. However, there are attempts being made to welcome the new normal. On June 12, 2020 Dave Chappelle put on the first live comedy show in Ohio complete with pandemic-compliant temperature checks, masks, and seats 6 feet apart during this global pandemic. Intimate in its setting, the audience were engaged despite the changes in the process to get into the show as well as viewing the show. Only 100 people were invited and sat outdoors at the Wirrig Pavilion. Attendees wore face masks the entire show and were not served alcohol.
Chappelle was skeptical on how the audience would enjoy the show and checked in with their engagement periodically during the special. People seem to enjoy the harsh rhetoric of the political climate, Black Lives Matter movement, protests and the current state of our country. As Chappelle calls these types of performances, “a talk with punchlines,” it was just that, a conversation rather than a comedy special. Even with the chaos going on in the world, people did get some laughs and a night to experience what an entertainment outing can or will be like in the future.
Already, the entertainment industry had reported a $10 billion dollar loss but also coming up with new ways to monetize digital innovations such as streaming to maximize revenues (Weform.org). Process of the business model and the impact of the changes requires a new understanding of the customer journey in this post pandemic society. From sales to streaming to advertising spend and content distribution all need to be put into a new business model. Several resources report a 18 to 24 month period before the concert and touring business can return to some sort of normal that looks like it did before the pandemic (wbur.com).
Factors to consider would include contingency plans and updating the policy for refunds, insurance coverage for both the entertainment and the attendees to protect their financial commitment to attending the show and lastly but most importantly technology. The entire business process will require a major overhaul. Social distancing is proven to be the hardest challenge for concerts, backstage logistics, nightclubs, dressing rooms as well as the artists getting used to smaller crowds and arenas.
How do you do feel about the future of your entertainment choices and would you be open to a new business model in seeing your favorite entertainer in a live setting?