Amid the press and panic of the rising pandemic of COVID19, aka The Corona Virus, attending a concert can really seem like a privilege and a low priority one at that. But for some Americans, concert season is sacred ground. We scrape and save all year to go see our favorite artists, attend an annual festival, and otherwise be surrounded by music and the people we love to share it with. So can attending a concert still be an option during this fast-spreading sickness? Let’s explore that question:
First and foremost, we are not condoning anyone try to defy common sense or local gathering restrictions as many are being set as I type. When in doubt, go without. We also urge anyone with a compromised immune system, or in a higher-risk category of the virus being fatal (elderly and the very young especially) to just stay home. No concert, no matter who is playing, is really worth dying for.
That said, if you read all the warnings and still plan on partying it up in your local amphitheaters and arenas this spring and summer, here are some tips to improve your health odds.
- Make sure your concert is still happening first! Many major world tours and some stateside concerts have already been cancelled due to concerns about gathering too many people in one place. Check with the hosting venue, the promoter, and even the artists’ own social media accounts to make sure the show you want to attend is still going on as planned. The music industry moguls at Billboard have a running list of concert cancellations as well, so check that often. So far most cancellations have provided for ticket refunds, but you’ll want to check with your ticket provider to see if that is an option.
- Prepare in advance. Pack items like dust masks, bandanas, hand sanitizer, and even gloves is you prefer. The less you come in physical contact with items like doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, and money, the better.
- Mind your personal health. A well-hydrated person who eats a balanced diet full of immune-boosting produce will have a much easier time fighting off a virus than a person who lives for Big Macs and pitchers of beer at happy hour. Our crew likes to do a little boot-scootin’ boot camp before festival season starts just to make sure we’re in shape for the physical toll that running festival grounds can take.
- Know your risk factor. A firm handshake is five times more likely to transmit virus-carrying particles than a high-five, and ten times more likely than a fist bump. Want to be extra careful? Try waving!
- Understand that virus particles transmit through shared air, and shared touch. Concert environments are pretty close-quartered, but if you find yourself getting crowded in, take a trip to the GA lawn where the air is sweet and you can stay at arms-length apart.
- Limit your alcohol intake. We’re not trying to disinfect ourselves from the inside-out with whiskey now. Alcohol binges can lower your immune system and lead to very careless choices. This is where common sense rules out.
- Use what you brought! Wear the masks. Wash the hands. Use your bandana as a buffer between you and all the things.
- Plan for some downtime after the show. Give yourself a few days at home away from everyone to be sure you’re still feeling healthy before you re-enter society.
Remember that no plan is foolproof. This virus, much like what we lovingly refer to as festi-flu is out there and no amount of precaution can protect everyone. Play it safe when you can, as much as you can, but know that common sense will rule.
In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Doctor Oz put it best:
“This was going to happen anyway… if not this year than a year after and there will be more in the future,” says Oz. “Let’s get past this and pull the Band-Aid off and start dealing with what the new order looks like because we still want to have fun. We don’t want people making decisions out of fear, because that’s not who we are as Americans, we’re can-do people… We’re innovative enough people that we’ll figure it out, and concerts are a great testing ground.”Billboard.com