Festivals and concerts 'may not return until Autumn 2021' - health experts warn

Festivals and concerts 'may not return until Autumn 2021' - health experts warn

FESTIVALS, gigs and concerts are unlikely to be back up and running for another 18 months, according to health experts.

Chicago-based professor of healthcare management Zeke Emanuel made the predictions to pour cold water on the idea that mass public gatherings were due to resume later this year.

It now appears we might have to wait a year-and-a-half before being able to properly return to normal.

Speaking at a New York Times roundtable, Prof Emanuel questioned promoters who were planning to reschedules postponed event for dates in 2020.

"Larger gatherings - conferences, concerts, sporting events - when people say they're going to reschedule this conference or graduation even 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 2021 at the earliest."

As things stands, festivals and gigs in Ireland and the UK over the coming months have been cancelled due to coronavirus.

There are fears that allowing for mass public gatherings before a time where we're certain we're in the clear regarding the spread of the virus, could spark a second wave of cases.

Despite this, there is cautious optimism amongst a number of event organisers, who look to China, and their forecasted return to normality in June, as a sign that rescheduling for 2020 will in fact be possible.

Denis Desmond, Managing Director of live music promoters MCD, who are due to run this year's Electric Picnic, which is set to be held in Co. Laois in Septmeber, said that he has "no doubt" that a relaxation in restrictions will have happened by then.

"We are two months behind [China] and we are not as badly hit with Covid-19. If we are back to normality by July, we would be doing well," he added.