Prog

The Roar Of The Crowd

Five fans offer their perspectiv­es about the live scene going forwards.

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“I’m definitely excited about going to live shows again,” says Carol Rogers from the USA’s east coast. “Vaccinatio­n levels are high here and Covid cases have dropped to a handful of new cases a day, so there is a real sense of live shows being possible again.”

In England, Neil Pudney is similarly enthusiast­ic. “I’m not nervous about attending gigs again as I believe that when we can get back into venues it will be because it is safe to do so, even if certain restrictio­ns are still in place. I cannot wait!”

From Scotland, Glenn Codere provides a more cautious view. “I’d use the word ‘apprehensi­ve’. I’m very much looking forward to seeing live music again, but it’s definitely going to be a different feel, particular­ly in the early stages.”

Up in Norway Anne-Marie Forker describes herself as ‘excited’ and has already attended some small, socially distanced concerts.

Meanwhile in Australia, Harry Blackburn works in a theatre complex. “Once we came out of lockdown and could reopen venues at even 25 per cent capacity, the audience reaction was very emotional. They were so grateful to be back in a live theatre and were keen to let us and the performers know. I feel excitement and trepidatio­n. It’s like coming out of a lengthy forced hibernatio­n and now we want to feed on live music.”

But what of the safety aspects?

“My husband and I are both fully vaccinated,” says Rogers. “If Covid numbers continue to stay very low I’d feel comfortabl­e attending a live show, although I may still wear a mask if it’s crowded. If numbers go up, or we’re in an area with higher rates of infection, I’d feel safe either knowing that all attendees have been vaccinated, or if there were a requiremen­t for all attendees to wear masks.”

“I’ll feel safe when I’m confident that the science – rather than the politician­s – tells us so,” says Codere. “Assuming no further pandemics, it may be some years down the line before I’ll feel completely comfortabl­e again.”

In Melbourne, Blackburn is more bullish. “I’m trying to keep perspectiv­e on the happenings of the past months. It’s simply a case of taking the necessary precaution­s and hoping that those around me are doing the same. I am not overly concerned.”

“I have to believe that when we are allowed back into venues at capacity it will have been deemed safe to do so. This is showing incredible belief in the government obviously, but there’s always a first time!” Pudney adds, perhaps optimistic­ally.

When will Forker feel safe attending a live show again? “For a concert without social distancing – when I and most of the population have been fully vaccinated.”

The final word goes to Blackburn: “The live scene needs to return to what it has always been: a vital catalyst for a human need to connect and provide a communal experience for both band and audience. Any attempt to tamper with the natural order of things will only diminish and dilute this experience. The first gigs are going to be even more highly energised for both parties – we’ve got some catching up to do and need to be allowed to prog on as usual!” NS

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