Live Music May Not Return Until 2022, Says Lollapalooza Co-Founder

The festival's Marc Geiger also called drive-in concerts a "gimmick"
Live Music May Not Return Until 2022, Says Lollapalooza Co-Founder
If you've had enough of livestream concerts, postponements, cancellations and chasing down ticket refunds, one of Lollapalooza's co-founders has some opinions about the return to live music in the coronavirus era that may bum you out. 

Speaking with the Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Lolla's Marc Geiger estimated that the North American market for festivals and live music won't return to normal for at least another two years.

"In my humble opinion, it's going to be 2022," he said in the interview.

During his appearance, Geiger also called drive-in concerts a "gimmick" and a "temporary stopgap solution," saying that audio quality for these events isn't nearly up to snuff, nor is the model financially viable in the long-term.

"It's my instinct, that's going to take a while because super-spreader events — sports, shows, festivals…aren't going to do too well when the virus is this present," Geiger stated. "It's going to take that long before, what I call, the germaphobic economy is slowly killed off and replaced by the claustrophobia economy — that's when people want to get out and go out to dinner and have their lives, go to festivals and shows."

He continued: "I know it's frustrating, maddening and economically destructive, but this is bigger than us."

Geiger's statements follow a range of estimations from experts in a number of different industries about the possible return to live music events. So far, it remains anyone's guess as to when concerts and festivals will be viable again, though some estimates date as early as 2021.

Despite ongoing pandemic concerns, numerous Canadian venues, industry leaders and artists have started finding and implementing ways to mitigate the issue, including the aforementioned drive-in model, livestream concerts and instituting new — sometimes otherworldly — safety measures.

Lollapalooza was cancelled in June, after organizers hesitated for months to announce a lineup. The festival would have taken place later from July 30 to August 2.

Listen to Geiger's heartbreaking interview below — and try not to cry.