This time next year…

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A photo of a calendar page. Flickr

What will shows and concerts look like after the pandemic?

It was June 2020. Harry Styles made an Instagram post announcing that his tour was being postponed due to the rise of the COVID-19 cases across Canada. Many ticket holders were disappointed since they were going to have to wait longer to be in the presence of the former One Direction singer – but in the face of that disappointment, I was jumping with joy and jumping on Ticketmaster.

The tour was scheduled for September 2021, and at the time, I assumed that COVID would be long over by then and I would be able to fly to Toronto and enjoy a night at the Scotiabank Arena with Harry Styles, my best friend, and my siblings – followed by a weekend of fun and reconnection after a year of isolation.

But now, I sit in my parents’ house every day, curious if I will feel the same feeling all the original ticket holders felt that day in June 2020.

I just keep asking myself: what will concerts and music festivals look like after the COVID-19 pandemic? Will we ever be able to be in an arena with thousands of other people, paying way too much money for drinks, singing with our friends, and making memories alongside our favorite artists?

Each and every one of these questions – although they sound simple and are a clear reflection of my privilege – breaks my heart. All these things now feel like distant memories to me.

Concerts and music festivals are spaces that connect people in a stunning way. They can unify people from all backgrounds and life experiences through great tunes and amazing practical effects.

Unity and connection are some things that we are all missing right now, and the continued deprivation of personal connections is making it very hard for me to imagine what it will be like when I can walk through the doors of a stadium, ticket in hand, once again.

The frustration that I feel when I see people not following the COVID rules breaks my heart and boils my blood, because those individuals’ actions are depriving me of one of the things that brings me great joy – live music.

Live music is an escape. It is a vortex that one can go into for a while and escape the world and forget about all of the problems outside of the stadium doors or festival gates. And let me be the [not] first to say we all need to enter the vortex and escape from reality right now.

I don’t know what concerts and music festivals will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic, but I can tell you that, no matter what it looks like, I am excited for it.

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