- 11 Jun 21
The momentum towards the return of live music all over Europe accelerated this week, with the latest decision taken in Denmark to lift all restrictions on standing concerts adding energy to what is a growing hope. Might good news on Electric Picnic be next?
The Danish government has decided, Hot Press has learned, that all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted for ‘standing’ concerts from September 1st. This applies whether the event is taking place indoors or outdoors – and will hopefully add considerable momentum to the campaign to get Irish live music fully back up and running in the near future.
Last night, the first of the planned Irish “test” gigs took place in Iveagh Gardens, with just 500 people attending a James Vincent McMorrow gig run by the National Concert Hall. It has already been confirmed that just .1% of Covid-19 cases in Ireland can be attributed to outdoor activities, since the pandemic first hit. That tiny number – just one in a thousand cases – makes it hard to sustain arguments against a renewal of outdoor music and sporting events.
The Danish decision follows an intensive period of scrutiny by the Danish parliament’s Pandemic Committee, which resulted in a positive decision.
“This is just so great news for us in Denmark,” one local promoter told Hot Press on the day the decision was confirmed. “This has been a very long fight. Last night was crazy, texting and answering questions from the Committee. But in the end we succeeded!”
One of the immediate beneficiaries of the decision is the legendary Danish post-punk band The Minds of 99, whose show at the national stadium, Telia Parken, in Copenhagen will now go ahead early in September.
“Today alone, we sold 45,000 tickets for the show,” Hot Press was told.
Denmark has already eased travel restrictions, opening up again to visitors from other EU countries. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars have also opened there, with what is being called a Coronapas playing a major part in the safety drive. Digital Certificates are generally seen as Europe’s best way out of lockdown – though clearly there are civil liberties issues that require careful consideration. The Danes have embraced the use of an app, which allows those who use it to confirm their Covid status – whether they have been vaccinated, or have passed a Covid test in the previous days.
Denmark has joined Belgium and the Netherlands at the forefront of easing restrictions on live music in Europe. In the US, the Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio recently announced a major open-air event, which will take place in the city, tentatively titled The Official NYC Homecoming Concert in Central Park. It is planned as a free event, with Clive Davis as promoter and Live Nation also involved. The show aims to bring together eight iconic musicians for a three-hour show, which will be broadcast on television across the world.
The New York Post quoted de Blasio: “I turned to Clive, I said, ‘I need the biggest, most extraordinary all-star line-up you can put together, heavy on New York artists.’ He said, ‘I’m on it’. Get ready for an unforgettable week, a once-in-a-lifetime concert and a moment that really says ‘New York City’s back’.”
Some reports suggest that there will be separate “vaccinated” and un-vaccinated” sections at the concert, with 70% of tickets going to those who have been vaccinated.