Re-Covid Attendance

My youngest daughter is 2X Pfizer vaccinated with no preexisting health issues. She is the poster child for careful pandemic behavior, working from home for 500+ days, fully masked out in the world, etc. A month ago she went to a club concert by one of her favorite artists with a friend here in Orange County.  I’ll spare naming the venue and the artist. The event required proof of vaccine or recent negative test. They were masked most of the time inside the sold out venue other than sipping their beverages. Great night, excellent show, happy daughter. 

4 days later on a Sunday she exhibited symptoms that were confirmed to be the COVID-10 virus. Fever, chills, fatigue, body ache, respiration issues, chronic coughing, low oximeter readings – the full gamut. The Abbott home virus test on Monday confirmed a positive. Her doctor who is also mine prescribed Z-Pack, Zinc, Vitamin D, Tylenol, and a cough medication. The symptoms continued for 10 days and she was down for the count.  The doctor warned if the oximeter reading dipped below 92 to contact him again.  Fortunately it didn’t and the office was kind enough to  check on her for several days.

She was never to the point of requiring hospitalization but the misery was constant, not for 3-4 days as is thought with breakthrough cases, but the full term. Today a month later, she still has no taste or smell and is still testing positive but is not contagious. I took care of her though she stayed isolated and I, also 2X vaxed & boostered, tested negative 4X in 10 days, felt great, no symptoms despite her relative proximity. By the way, her friend escaped catching it. Go figure.
So, mandating vaccines is essential for the concert business to get back on its feet long term and prevent any false starts short term. Extreme caution, a unified system of checks and enforcement must be in place everywhere. Music fans and industry workers deserve it. 

Jim McKeon


Went to see My Morning Jacket with Britney Howard opening a couple of weeks ago and was saddened at how small the crowd was. GREAT outdoor venue (Forest Hills Stadium with excellent food and drinks), mandatory double vaccination for entry (and they were’t joking about checking ID’s against names on the vax cards) AND they crowd was still only 50-60%. I don’t know the history of the band’s ticket sales, but it was kinda bummed out for them. Both artists were fantastic, but the communal vibe of great live music was a little deadened by such a small crowd. 

Makes me wonder if mandatory vaccinations would increase ticket sales at boomer shows?? Makes me wonder if people will ever get off their asses and support great artists any longer? Makes me wonder if holing up at home with HULU, Netflix, HBO, and all the others is just killing the world of live entertainment? 

Not sure how fixable some of this stuff is after this pandemic. Tastes, cultural desires, and America’s willingness to leave the couch may have changed more than Dennis Arfa knows.

– Darryl Estrine


My husband and I are retired boomers in our 60’s. We love to attend concerts and go out to eat but even though we’re fully vaccinated we’re very intentional about where we go. We live near Nashville and there are a few concert venues that host artists who require vaccinations to attend so those are the ones that get our money. We patronize restaurants that offer outside dining or we go at off hours when we can get a table away from other diners. But we certainly aren’t spending the amount of money on concerts and restaurants like we did before the pandemic. We want to support artists and business owners but if it’s safer for us to stay home that’s we will do until more people get vaccinated and the number of Covid cases goes down. 
Pam Dyson


I’m 64 years old. I love live music more than anything. The other day I rode my bike past the BLUE NOTE and the Village Vanguard. And all I could think of was, boy, I wish I had the nerve to go inside and see a show.  But I have cancer, I’m in chemotherapy, and my first two shots didn’t work (it took my third shot to develop any antibodies). I feel bad for the performers that I’m not supporting but I also feel glad that I wake up every morning. One of these days, I will feel comfortable again. But until then I have no regrets. 

Michael Reinert


I attended NY Comic Con every year.  This year i went for one day on Saturday.  I normally dread Saturdays because  there are so many people it is so uncomfortable  you can not even walks through the isles.  I hear attendance for  this is event can exceed 150,000 people.  This year Saturday  felt like it was 10am Thursday. It felt empty.  I did not even notice any of the Big companies doing anything insane.  With the release of Venom this past week and all the Disney releases with the MCU you would think it would of seen stuff all over the place.    I was amazed by  how simple it was to walk around.   It is not just the concert business. 

Jon Topper


Lots of no shows this season + or -

But, plenty of boomers.

No masks.

Bill Carle
Ozarks Amphitheater


Truth. Sitting here watching sales I expected just not happening. Why take a risk when my TV has so many choices. Vax mandate and masking here no longer helping. Many hate masks more than they hate missing concerts. 

Ron Ozer – Arden Concert Gild, Delaware 


It ain’t just the boomers, Bob.

Tool, who had to cancel a string of dates in 2020, just announced 2022 dates.  Two Q1 NY area shows and neither one is sold out.  One’s on a Saturday in NJ and the other is a weeknight on Long Island but that typically wouldn’t matter to their audience, which is almost all hardcore fans.   

Unthinkable in the “before times.”

Dave Conklin


Bob, I have tickets to see Wilco in Santa Barbara, but I’m too nervous to go. It’s at the Bowl which is a great venue and it’s open air. I’ve tried selling my tix at even below cost, but I’ve had no takers and I love this band.  A good friend’s daughter was vaxed and recently went to a concert and got pretty sick with Covid. I’m not sure on the specifics. Don’t know if she was wearing a mask or if proof of vaccine was mandatory.  This thing is far from over. It is reassuring to see the numbers going down, but I feel too many people feel like it has just disappeared.

Alan Oreman


Bob, I’ll never understand why they didn’t release the James Bond film on one of the streaming services. I subscribed to Disney+ when it was the only way to watch ‘Hamilton’. I rarely watch the channel, but Disney+ has had almost 18 months of me paying $7 per month for the service. I would happily have thrown money at a streaming channel, in order to watch James Bond.  I can’t see going into a cinema until Fall 2022 at the earliest. I want to watch James Bond, but I’m not taking the risk of going into a cinema.  Such a wasted opportunity. 

– Erin Dineen


I’m Gen X, Bob. Many of us are also not ready to go back into crowds – concerts, movies, restaurants – despite our love for the experience. We will wait.

Jeremy Spiegel


We are still not going out.  It just isn’t worth taking the chance. Our grandchildren are too young to be vaccinated, and we want to see them without exposing them. So we won’t be attending any concerts for a while still.

Our house concert series is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this February. We had hoped for a big show to celebrate, but that won’t be happening.  The next date we have booked to host a show is Saturday, April 30, 2022, but whether or not that happens will depend on how things go over the next 6 months.

The Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine in Malibu has some really good shows lined up, but we won’t be attending. We feel bad missing good concerts, and we feel bad not supporting acts that we like . . . but there’s a worldwide pandemic going on!!  (4.5 million people have died worldwide, but it appears to be a secret because there’s no way you’d know it if you watched sporting events lately.)

Hope you are well.

Russ Paris


Your observations ring completely true for me and almost everyone of my boomer pals. 

The whole idea of seeing a good band, for me, is to feel FREE, to forget myself and fly along with the band for an hour or two. 

So, I’m going to go out now and wear a mask in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd and risk stewing all night — or worse, getting caught up in some fracas — because some unmasked / unvacc’d / over-served dude or couple has to show everybody it’s finally time to get loose? Only takes one! ….And if a lifetime of shows has taught me anything, that one will end up standing right in front of me. …But now, what was once just annoying becomes something operating at a whole different level. And hey, forget shows: just going to the Walgreen’s is a dodgy business!

The vacc’d friends I have who went out to a show in July, in the burbs, to see a denim and leather rock band — several got Covid.  The deep blue city-locales where I typically go to see shows, the likelihood of that happening seems low — but you look at the numbers, and it’s nowhere near close enough to zero to make it worth the risk.

Nope, not at all surprised by what the numbers are showing.

Steve Lindstrom


Saw Idles at the Riviera in Chicago last Friday- proof of two vaccines or negative test, and masks required. I’m about to be too old to do that again. Idles happen to be my current favorite band right now and it would’ve been really hard to miss it. (Also- the venue is great and 2 blocks form my door). Everybody was masked but I still started getting freaked out. It was packed and sweaty even in the balcony. I started thinking about how quickly they checked our vax cards. I don’t know when we’ll be able to say this is “over” but I won’t do that again until I don’t have the heeby-jebbies thinking about it. Like I said, I might be getting to that age where I’d rather have a bunch more good summers than give into fomo. It’s really a shame what the politicization of the the virus did to the touring business and to the country. 

Christian Lane
Chicago, IL


This old man is back to concerts, at least those that are run safely.
I went to the Los Lobos concert at the beautiful Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. On the steps they had a check in table where nice people were checking vaccination cards with photo ID . Proof of vax ? On goes the white wristband. 
The tickets were scanned at the door. No long delay, no angry people. At the door you were reminded to keep your mask on and as far as I could tell everyone did. I took off my glasses so they wouldn’t fog and heard one of the best damn bands play for two hours. Their live version of the Dead’s “Bertha” was so kick ass I couldn’t believe it. 3 guitars, bass and drums wailing along with a bass saxophone. I was shouting into my face covering “lord take me now!” and was hoarse the next day but Covid safe. 
John Brooks Ojai, California 


Thanks for tryin’ to fight the good fight Bob, but we’ve been to 2 boomer-friendly shows at Jones Beach in Long Island this summer, Hall & Oates and Black Crowes. Both shows near capacity, full o’ Boomers.  Grey hair everywhere. About half-masked. 

Jon Langston


For what it’s worth, some friends and I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually attend a show. The venue advised on their website that proof of vax would be required, as well as, mask mandates upon entering. Well, that all went out the window the second we were in the club. Nobody checking vax cards, just a few folks masked up and a general devil may care attitude. My group of friends have a saying, “If you go to enough shows, you will end up at THE show.” Well, it turned into “one of those shows” with a raucous crowd and a performance that was other worldly. I have to be honest, it was nice to step back into heaven for a little bit, infected as it was .

John Sukitch


I’ll be at my first gig next Sunday when I take in Erasure and Blancmange at the huge O2 arena. 
I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask more often than not when out of the house, but at 52 and with manageable asthma hell I’m taking zero chances these last 18 months.
But Sunday, what can I do. The wife wants to go, we’ll be standing for 3 plus hours too; how many will be maskless, not double vaccinated etc?

Also, fucking Brexit. This govt is riding us down the road to oblivion and our once impartial journalists and our once impartial BBC are doing shit all about it and NOT reporting on the lies and the corruption and the veritable money train that COVID gave them.

One bit of good news I have for you, those preview songs from the Let it Be ‘re-do’ sound great!

Gary James Clarke


Totally agree and we have yet to experience what the northern hemisphere has especially in Melbourne which holds the world record for the most locked down city in the world . 
This has decimated what was once the event and music capital of a Australia and it’s going to take years to come to pre covid levels . 
On the upside we are nearly at 85% first vaxed which means we will at least get 85% of the population vaccinated in the next month or so . 
85% of the population being vaxed doesn’t mean business as usual in this city though which makes no sense . So we will still have restrictions on capacities which for smaller venues is still diabolical as this could last another year . 
Having 85% of population vaxed still means in a state of 6.5 million people there is still just over 1 million unvaxed . 
In real terms if you have a show of 10000 people you have a potential of 1500 not being vaxed and the big issue I see here is this unless your getting your online ticket sales there is the potential that 15% of that audience who have bought tickets won’t be vaccinated and the issues will be at the point of entry and not at the point of purchase . 
This has to change in the meantime our business’s are expected to uphold licensing laws with entry but now have to be faux health inspectors with their patrons which equals disaster .. 


Warren Bernard Amster


Toad the Wet Sprocket in Norwalk, CT (indoors) last week – filled, masked with vax or neg test. Gin Blossoms at Pound Ridge Harvest Festival, NY (outdoors) also last week with no requirements but still crowded.  Chicago at Palace Theater in Stamford, CT (indoors) – great turnout, masked with vax or neg test.  Just saw Karla Bonoff at City Winery in NYC yesterday evening.  The room was filled with us “older folk.”  Unmasked, vaccinated and out and about.  We may not be hitting the large arenas but we’re certainly heading to the smaller venues based on the four shows I’ve been to in the last two weeks.

Alex Novielli


I’m healthy, 37 and vaxxed. No Interest in sitting down at a restaurant. No interest in being ass to elbow watching a band either.

I felt like restaurants were dirty and concerts just giant mass of respiratory terror BEFORE Covid… I carried sanitizer, I refused to use table condiments without using a napkin as a buffer. Menus? Disgusting. And concerts? So much coughing, drunk people yelling. People licking their fingers clean at the ketchup stand, people passing their vapes back and forth. Good god. 

Truth be told I went to restaurants and concerts because it seemed like I was supposed to. Did I ever really want to? Maybe a half dozen times In my life. 

Covid has given me cover to finally write these activities off. I’m sure I’ll see some shows and eat out at a restaurant again, but not any time soon. And I don’t miss it and haven’t missed it in 18+ months. 

Eli Chastain


I am vaccinated and living my life pre-covid here in So Cal.   I have been to 2 football games the last 2 weeks (Rose Bowl and Sofi) where both were supposed to be checking vax cards or negative test per LA County.   I did not get asked at either venue.   Both venues did not have enough staff to check all the lanes to get in.   Yes I saw a couple of workers checking but I just found a lane with no one checking and it was faster to get in.   Also in LA County,  we are supposed to be wearing mask while at our seat unless eating or drinking.   I would say only 5% might actually being doing that.   The vax people are out and about living life pre-covid.   Hope you get out soon.

Steve Burnette


Dead & Co. are playing in town tonight but I don’t know anyone under 60 going. We’re staying home and streaming Phil & Friends from The Capital Theatre…

Rodney Rowland


I’m going. Maybe I’m not old at 45. I went to the Doobie Brothers Saturday at the Forum, sat in the third row, and had no fear ( I’m vaxed). Heading back to see the Eagles Saturday.

Kyle J. Ferraro


This is it. This is the new normal. We’re going to be getting COVID shots every whatever number of months for probably the rest of our lives. We’re going to wear masks when there’s a lot of people around if we care about keeping ourselves healthy.

Are we protecting ourselves from the unvaccinated? Are we just catering to our own fears? It really doesn’t matter, because this is the way it’s going to be. 

And that means that some of us will not be going out to the sheds no matter how much we love the old geezers that are playing on stage because there’s a lot of people not following masking and other protocols. And the geezers who thought they were going to cash in on tour won’t be making near as much as they expected.

Welcome to the future. Live with it.

Mark Edwards Edelstein


We’ve had two tours back so far, and ticket sakes have been good, but attendance has not. On one hand it’s nice to be making ends meet and I’m super thankful people are buying tickets, but the anemic show experience is a huge bummer. I’d rather make less money and have a full room – that’s when we’ll know we’re back. 

Kristie Macdonald


I’m old and would go to concerts if the vaccinated people would stop canceling or rescheduling their shows because THEY tested positive for Covid. I stopped buying tickets since I’ve yet to be able to go to a show I had tickets for. 

Peter Boyles

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