When Aussies will see global music stars again
Promoter Paul Dainty believes Australian music fans could see international concerts by April next year.
Dainty, behind tours by Michael Buble, Queen as well as the recent Fire Fight concert, is busy planning for shows in 2021 and 2022.
"I think Australia will be one of the first markets to return globally to touring ahead of America and Europe," Dainty said.
"It's been managed very well by the Government here, apart from the blip in Melbourne the rest of the country is in good shape compared to the rest of the world."
Dainty said he had "hundreds" of arena dates for the 2021/2022 season on hold once state and international borders re-open and "extreme" social distancing measures drop and venues can return to near full capacity.
"I think people are waiting to go to big shows, especially outdoors. We've seen that in WA with the football, there was no reticence to big crowds going to watch the football so there's no difference with that than a big outdoor concert. You should see the list of names we're planning to tour here."
Meanwhile the live CD from the Fire Fight Australia concert has now raised $520,000 for bushfire relief.
The concert itself raised $9.85 million, with the distribution of funds by the Sony Foundation being monitored by Deloittes.
"It's definitely one of the things I'm most proud of," Dainty said. "It escalated into being a global event, it was seen around the world, on Sky TV in the UK and Fox in America."
END OF THE MOSHPIT: HOW LIVE MUSIC WILL CHANGE
Music fans may have to buy tickets to their own private platform or pen on the grass at festivals when mass gatherings are given the green light once "the virus burns itself out", according to a crowd emergency healthcare expert.
Dr Jamie Ranse, who has been advising the Queensland Government on guidelines for mass gatherings from concerts to fireworks and Christmas carols, said COVID-19 heralded the permanent end of the moshpit, with physical distancing the new normal for gigs for at least the next few years.
Fans may also have to wear masks to minimise the spread of droplets while singing or dancing.
Dr Ranse, who has also been advising WHO on guidelines to restart the events industry, said Australia was poised to be one of the first countries to welcome back international artists. But only in the states where there was zero community transmission.
"The only places I can see (big gigs and festivals) happening are the areas where we are pretty confident there is no COVID, places like Western Australia and the Northern Territory who have shut themselves off from the rest of the world," he said.
"They actually might be the first places in the world to start attracting international performers who could come in a bubble from wherever they are, land, get on the stage, get back in the planes and fly out again."
Seated gigs or drive-in concerts will be the norm for the indefinite future and the live performance industry will drive creative solutions to make them financially viable and safe.
"I think it will still be different (for concerts) over the coming years and out of this creative industry will come innovative ideas about doing it the old way," he said.
"I've seen a lot of people on social media not liking these types of ideas but other people saying they would prefer something to nothing. There are others still who never really liked going into the moshpit and being squashed up against big, sweaty, drunk people and would like their own space to experience a show, so this is good for them."
FEARS FOR SPORT IN A POST-COVID WORLD
There is a silent fear in Australia that sport will not be the same after COVID-19 … next year or ever.
"People have changed their habits,'' said one leading cricket official.
"They have got out of the habit of going to games and are happy to watch them at home. Or not watch them at all.
"I think people are now allergic to big crowds. We sense crowds will be down massively even when COVID ends.''
For most of this year the sports world felt the COVID-19 crisis would be very much a one season wipe-out … not any more.
As the months grind on and the second wave hits, many sports are already facing the grim realisation that, until a vaccine is found, capped crowds, team hubs and stifling COVID restrictions will be an unfortunate fact of life.
In the National Rugby league competition there is speculation the New Zealand Warriors could be based at Redcliffe, outside Brisbane, next season.
Clubs have been warned the crisis could extend into 2021 and to be prepared to tighten their belts accordingly.
Television networks covering the NRL and AFL competitions have already been given discounts for next season in the expectation it will be an inferior product with less crowds.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed from 2020 to 2021 but Olympic officials are offering no guarantees they will go ahead.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have vowed to do everything possible to host the Games but a recent survey revealed almost 80 per cent of Japanese believe the Games can be held safely next year.
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This is what could happen to other sports …
CRICKET: It's in a complete mess because the game has so many competitions and international threads. The Boxing Day Test against India this year in extreme doubt for the MCG and likely to be moved interstate. The Big Bash schedule announced last month certain to be revised with Victorian games in doubt and more matches certain for Queensland. Australia's February tour of South Africa is in major doubt.
RUGBY UNION: Rugby Australia is working hard with New Zealand to have a new trans-Tasman Super Rugby series but both nations are having trouble leaving their egos at the door to thrash out details. The deal will be sealed eventually and if New Zealand can recover its COVID-free status it will ensure big crowds and a robust vibe which will be a shiny beacon in an otherwise stricken sporting world. Optus and Channel 10 are tipped to be the new broadcast rights holders.
RUGBY LEAGUE: May start later next year due to this year's late finish. NRL officials privately concede they fear the COVID crisis will spill into next year's competition and produce more interstate hubs, capped crowds and stressed players.
TENNIS: Up to four different plans will be considered for the Australian Open but this much is clear - it's Melbourne or bust.
Plan A is to host the tournament in its traditional January timeslot with players in a secure biosecurity "bubble" with fewer spectators and possibly none from overseas. Overseas players would need to quarantine in Australia before the tournament, stay in special hotels and travel to and from venues in secure transport.
Originally published as When Aussies will see global music stars again