Large-scale public events may not return until 2021, experts and government officials warn

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  • Bioethicist Dr. Zeke Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave interviews this week confirming the potential long road back to live music.
  • Large-scale public events may not return until 2021, experts and government officials warn image
  • The coronavirus pandemic's impact on live music and events might be more long-lasting than initially feared. While many festivals, including Coachella, Dekmantel's Lente Kabinet, Primavera Sound and Kala, are choosing to postpone until August, September and October instead of outright cancelling for the year, recent warnings from experts and government officials are challenging that strategy. In an April 10th interview with the New York Times Magazine, bioethicist Dr. Zeke Emanuel discussed how reinstating previous norms must be done "in stages." "Larger gatherings—conferences, concerts, sporting events—when people say they're going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that's a plausible possibility," he said. "I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically, we're talking fall [September through November] 2021 at the earliest." Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told city officials in a conference call on Monday, April 13th, "large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events may not be approved in the city for at least one year," according to an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email, the Los Angeles Times reports. Mayor Garcetti later confirmed the report to CNN on Wednesday evening. "Public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments," he told Wolf Blitzer. "The last thing I want to do is gather 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 people in one place. That's like the exact opposite of social distancing." These statements complement recent extensions on public event bans, such as Germany's and Denmark's holds on major events now in place until August 31st. Read our recent Perspectives feature, in which promoters and people who work in events discuss how they've been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.