Live Music in 2021 – Live Streams and the Potential Return of In Person Events

Back in November, we brought you an overview of what 2020 was like for live music – closed venues, creative covid-safe live music solutions, and the major tours and festivals that are (re)scheduled for 2021 and beyond. With the New Year just beginning and vaccines on their way, what does 2021 hold for live music?

Livestreams

When the pandemic first began, we saw a huge number of livestreams take place. Then, just as soon as they began, the number of livestreams began to slowly decrease. And yet, with the 2020 holiday streams and now the new year, livestreams are becoming popular once again!

So where’s the best place to find out about upcoming streams? Great question! Let’s check some places out:

Veeps

One of the big livestream platforms right now is Veeps. Artists from Liam Payne to 4th & Orange to Fever333 have used the platform. All events on here are ticketed, and event organizers include the artists themselves and independent venues. Check out upcoming events on Veeps’ site, or on their socials: @Veeps on Twitter and Instagram, and @VeepsOfficial on Facebook.

Live at Studio 4

Since August, the iconic Studio 4 has hosted Tigers Jaw, Anthony Green, The Menzingers, The Bouncing Souls, and The Starting Line for livestreams. While the only streams on the books so far are two more The Starting Line gigs, it’s likely that more will be announced soon now that the hubbub of the holidays is over. Get info on upcoming events on the Live at Studio 4 website, or by following them on socials: @LiveAtStudio4 everywhere.

Around the Campfire

If ticketed livestream shows aren’t your jam, there’s plenty of DIY folks organizing free events (However, please do donate to the artists if you can!) One livestream series with weekly events is Around the Campfire, hosted by Long Neck. Check out upcoming events at AroundTheCampfire.online.

Artist Socials

The best place to find out about upcoming events by artists you love is, of course, by following them on socials or signing up for their email list! Since most livestreams are a lot more casual (and last-minute), than traditional concerts, following your favorite artists is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out if they spontaneously go live, or announce a last-minute stream.

The Return of IRL Concerts?

While 2020 brought us many drive-in concerts, the icy winter weather put a stop to most of them for the time being. With regards to indoor concerts, Dr. Fauci stated this past Saturday that live entertainment venues may be able to reopen this fall, assuming everything goes right. As reported by the New York Times, Dr. Fauci stated that once the US has reached herd immunity, venues will likely be able to operate again with little-to-no restrictions, provided that the venues are properly ventilated and audience members wear masks.

Of course, we can’t have shows without venues. Unfortunately, many venues have closed in the past 10 months. Luckily, the Save Our Stages Act passed as part of the recent stimulus/spending bill – the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. This will provide funding to many of our country’s independent venues. However, many venues still urgently need funds to carry them until this newly allocated grant money is distributed. Consider donating to your local independent venue if possible, or visit the National Independent Venue Association’s site to donate to their Emergency Relief Fund.

Dashboard Confessional live in March 2020. One of the last live events before COVID shut down the industry

Given the highly uncertain possibility of live music and festivals returning in early/mid-2021, here’s what the industry has planned:

Live Music Events on sale for 2021

As of this writing, here are the festivals and events that are still planned and are currently on sale.

Festivals:

Tours:

Dates set, not yet on sale

These are the festivals and events that have dates set, but are not currently on sale:

  • Austin City Limits (Austin, TX; Oct 1-3 & 8-10, 2021) – No updates since virtual ACL last year
  • Blue Ridge Rock Festival (Lynchburg, VA; September 18-20, 2021 – Check out our interview with CEO Jon Slye) – Stated on socials to expect updates soon
  • Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN; September 2-5, 2021) – No updates since rescheduling to new dates.
  • Buku: Planet B (New Orleans, LA; October 22+23, 2021) – Buku is usually scheduled for March. This year only, they’re planning an event in October, with plans to resume regular Buku in March 2022. Expect lineup info for Buku: Planet B soon.
  • Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL; May 21-23, 2021) – Hangout usually drops tickets and lineup info in December. They recently issued a statement to expect another update in late January about the event as they monitor the situation.
  • Inkcarceration (Mansfield, OH; July 16-18, 2021) – Stated on socials they plan to start rolling out info in January, but no updates yet

Awaiting Updates

  • Coachella: The festival hasn’t yet been officially cancelled or postponed, despite being scheduled for April. Rumors circulated in October 2020 that the festival would be postponed until October 2021, but this reports have been neither confirmed nor denied. Last month, a reporter at the Desert Sun shared myriad information that the festival is unlikely to occur in April 2021 as planned: the promoter, Goldenvoice, hasn’t been meeting with city officials to plan as they normally would if the event were a go, nor does the city’s most recent budget plan for income from the event. The festival’s website also makes no mention of the 2021 event.
  • Firefly Festival: The event’s website still displays their statement from 2020’s cancellation saying “we look forward to welcoming you in the Woodlands in June 2021,” but no dates have been confirmed. Their social media has been pretty quiet as well.
  • Gov Ball: This festival has been pretty quiet as well. Their 2020 cancellation statement says “see you in June 2021,” but their website doesn’t list any specific info or dates for the event. A few sites, as well as the fine print of their Propeller.la giveaway, list the date as June 4-6, 2021, but the event itself hasn’t provided any official updates.
  • Lollapalooza: Another festival that has yet to release specific dates for 2021. Their website states they are “working hard behind the scenes to deliver Chicago a spectacular celebration of Lollapalooza’s 30th Anniversary in the summer of 2021.” Lolla’s Facebook page shared lineup info from Lollapalooza Stockholm last month, but no updates on the US Fest.

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