Music festivals should return permanently, under these conditions

Since the beginning of 2020, Covid-19 has forced the shutdown of nearly everything, including music festivals. With the availability of vaccines in the United States, many Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted. Does this mean people can expect popular music festivals to fully return? 

Lollapalooza, one very well-known music festival in Chicago, required vaccination or proof of a negative Covid-19 test in the past three days to be let in. Chicago health officials have considered Lollapalooza 2021 to be a success. There seemed to be no substantial impact to Chicago’s Covid-19 epidemiology after the festival.  

If other big music festivals follow similar Covid-19 protocols and require certain verifications, music should be able to make a full comeback. However, many head coordinators of events still have issues with working everything out.  

Unlike Lollapalooza, organizers of the New Orleans Jazz Fest cancelled their two week event because of safety and health concerns relating to the pandemic. New Orleans is currently experiencing an exponential growth of Covid-19 cases. The festival has been rescheduled and can be expected to return next Spring.  

Additionally, Seven Peaks Fest in Colorado was cancelled because organizers of the event faced difficulties with capacity restrictions by local health officials.  

It is better to cancel large music festivals than for things to take a turn for the worse.  

Covid-19 outbreaks have been linked to some music festivals. 66 people tested positive for Covid-19 after the Pendleton Whiskey Music Fest in Oregon on July 10 this year. Out of all 66 infected with the virus, only five were vaccinated beforehand. This leads back to the previous idea that people should be fully vaccinated if they are going to attend music festivals.  

Overall, I think that all music festivals should require verification of vaccinated people or people who test negative for Covid-19. Organizers of Lollapalooza did a perfect job of ensuring the safety of others at their music festival while still being able to make it feel as normal as possible. Additionally, organizers should definitely coordinate with health officials and lower max capacity if it is recommended. If music festivals cannot find ways to meet these safety standards, they should cancel and reschedule their event to a later date so the pandemic does not continue to spread. With the wide availability of vaccines in the United States, music festivals will be able to fully return as long people keep getting vaccinated and safety protocols are followed.