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Future of live concerts, music festivals in Las Vegas

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Posted at 8:23 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 02:42:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Entertainment and music experts are weighing in on what the future of concert venues and music festivals will look like following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dave Brooks, Billboard Music’s Director of Live Music, expects in the future that concerts could be at 10 to 15 percent of what their normal capacity would have been.

“I think it could be a while before it comes back to normal,” says Brooks.

The mystery is exactly what new measures will be taken at each venue, including social distancing practices.

“That could be kind of enforced by drawing boxes on the floor,” says Brooks.

“We’re going to see artists playing at pretty big venues, and maybe they’ll have no fans in them,” says Brooks.

A Billboard and Nielsen study found that fans are eager to attend live concerts, but have concerns about health and safety.

The study found more than half of participants want hand sanitizer available, and prefer outdoor events.

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Brooks says that Las Vegas spearheaded a lot of the innovation in the worldwide concert business, which may make the transition easier for the city.

“That’s where the residency show model started,” says Brooks.

Brooks also says drive-in concerts could be an option using technology that's already being used at the Aerosmith show at Park MGM.

The technology allows you to listen to the clear concert audio using your phone.

Music festivals are also having to adapt for the future.

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The Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend had to cancel this year, which had 100 bands from different countries slated to perform.

Tom Ingram promotes the festival, and says while virtual concerts could be an option, nothing can compare to the in-person experience.

“People go to events just as much to meet other people as they do for seeing the entertainment,” says Ingram. “So if you take that away form the event, you have no event.”

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