Covid vaccine means a third of people ‘feel comfortable’ going to concerts again

2 December 2020, 11:04 | Updated: 2 December 2020, 12:46

Coronavirus vaccine increases concert confidence
Coronavirus vaccine increases concert confidence. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Research suggests news of a vaccine has given people confidence in attending live music and theatre events again, come the New Year.

New research from a leading UK orchestra has found 29 percent of people would now feel comfortable going to concerts again, following news of an effective coronavirus vaccine.

A third (31 percent) said they would return to theatres, while a fifth (21 percent) put musical festivals back on the agenda for 2021.

Overall, 83 percent of those surveyed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra said news of the vaccine made them more comfortable considering a range of social activities for next year.

The National Health Service (NHS) will begin rollout of a jab, said to be 95 percent effective, next week, as the UK becomes the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for widespread use.

The first immunisations are expected to go to those who need it most, including health workers and care home residents.

Read more: How new coronavirus tiers affect live music and performing arts in the UK >

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Reassuringly for music venues, the growing confidence of live music audiences was apparent across all age groups, with 29 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds, and 32 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds, saying they would feel comfortable attending a concert again.

James Williams, Managing Director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “Before the vaccine, we feared the recovery of live music would be a slow and difficult process.

“Our research suggests otherwise. People want to react to 2020, they want to exercise their freedom of movement, they need cultural stimulation and they want to see loved ones.”

The second national lockdown, and following system of tiered restrictions, has deeply impacted music venues across the UK. While indoor performances can return in Tiers 1 and 2, numbers are now capped at 1,000 or 50 percent of capacity, and performances are out of the question for Tier 3 regions.

“The caveat we have all lived with during 2020 is ‘when it is safe’,” Williams says.

“The vaccine is a game changer and, whilst much detail is still unknown, our research suggests the return of consumer confidence in the music, sport and travel sectors could be emphatic following the successful role out of a vaccine in the months ahead.”