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Post-Coronavirus, How Will Live Sound Go Back to Work?

Clive Young Pro Sound

How will the live-sound industry have changed when it comes out of its coronavirus-induced hibernation?

New York, NY (March 17, 2020)—With the coronavirus continuing to spread throughout the U.S., live events and the production industries behind them have come to a standstill. Live Nation and AEG Presents have suspended tours, states and localities are enacting increasingly stricter guidelines nearly daily in an effort to curtail the virus’ spread, and for many in the live sound industry, there’s little to do except wait for things to change.

First in the minds of many industry pros is the question of when touring will resume. “Everybody’s talking right now with a magic number of two weeks—‘When we come to April 1, we’re gonna evaluate it,’” said Jack Boessneck, executive vice president of Eighth Day Sound (Highland Heights, OH). “I don’t know what they know that I don’t, but hopefully they know something.”

When the industry does start edging back to work—whether, as seems increasingly unlikely, in early April or later down the road—what will that scenario look like? What new processes or regulations will be in effect? How will they be determined?

A key factor will be how the different stakeholders coordinate their efforts to establish guidelines in the coming weeks, bringing their insights to the table and sharing them. “We collectively—the promoter, the venue, the tour, the insurer and others—need to start thinking about how do we go back to work,” said Event Safety Alliance chairman and president Jim Digby. “Is there a day in the future where we’re taking the steps of putting temperature sensors at the doors and monitoring our guests’ fever level? Are we sanitizing all the surfaces that that many touch—bathroom doorknobs, the top of the barricade? … Can we proactively as a community start creating solutions—which by the way, is what we do—that might put confidence back into those who are monitoring the health of our risk exposure?”

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