A Return to Live Entertainment with iOpen

January 28, 2021

Home » A Return to Live Entertainment with iOpen

Photo By David Conger

In April 2020, Rolling Stone reported on the havoc COVID-19 was causing on the music industry. When the article was written, major music festivals like Coachella and SXSW were canceled, tours were indefinitely postponed, and music promoters like Live Nation had suspended future shows. The music industry came to a screeching halt for the first time. When this Rolling Stone article was published, many were still hoping that live music, along with sporting events, would be back before the end of the year. Although the return to live entertainment hasn’t happened as quickly as we initially thought it would, there is now hope that we can once again enjoy live music and sports thanks to M2 Capital’s new app, iOpen.

The music industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Social distancing orders had initially caused a drop in music streaming, with Spotify reporting an 11% decrease in the spring. Albums sales were also down, and some musicians were on the hook for canceled shows with no income coming in. Fortunately, many have stepped up to help the industry. MusiCares, Recording Academy’s charitable organization, launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund in March 2020 and is still actively raising funds. The organization is providing aid to those in the music industry who have been devastated by the pandemic. Harvey Mason Jr, CEO of Recording Academy, told Rolling Stone, “I’m concerned for fans of music because there’s not the ability for our creators to be able to continue to put out the volume of music that they normally do.”

Live music fans are suffering in their own way. Although the majority of ticketholders were refunded for canceled shows, it’s taken a toll on mental health as well. Concerts were one of many life’s pleasures that were taken away as a result of COVID-19. Those who love live music, as well as musicians, continue to wonder what live music will look like in the future – will it go back to how it was in 2019? Or will the way we attend concerts be changed forever?

The question was posed to Canadians back in August. Music Canada, along with Abacus Data, conducted public opinion research to determine how the music industry would continue to be affected. The research found that most Canadians are eager to get back to attending concerts when it’s safe to do so, with 88% saying they really miss going to concerts and 89% saying that virtual concerts don’t replace the feeling of live music. Although eager to get back, many Canadians do have some hesitations, as 55% said they would wait at least 6 months after physical restrictions end before they attend a concert at a live venue. Those surveyed were asked if additional safety measures like mandatory masks, reduced attendance, staggered entry times, and hand sanitation stations would make them more comfortable heading indoors for a concert.

The results showed that these safety measures would do little to improve public opinion. The survey failed to ask if they would feel more comfortable if concert attendees were pre-screened and had to be tested or vaccinated before attending. Likely, this question was not posed because the technology to do so did not exist at the time of the survey. However, thanks to iOpen – this is a genuine possibility and will open up live music sooner than you may think!

Photo By David Conger

An app that verifies COVID-19 status

M2 Capital released their plans for the future of live entertainment including concerts and sports events, and it involves an app called iOpen. This app will verify ticketholders that have either been vaccinated within 12 months of the concert date or recently received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 and 24 hours of the show.

M2 Capital’s team of data engineers is working with UCLA and the University of Miami to finalize the HIPAA authentication/verification process currently. This verification will be linked to a QR Code and provide a great deal of flexibility which will help allow fans to return to live entertainment.  

For testing, the person would visit one of the partnering 12,234 test locations. After a ticketholder had been tested for COVID-19 the testing location will upload the HIPAA Record directly to iOpen. The record would then be authenticated and accessible by the user.  They will see a true negative or true positive result. To enter an event, the iOpen user would present a QR code along with their ID. 

 

Photo By David Conger

 

It is not yet clear how vaccinations will be confirmed. Many companies are feverishly working to create the necessary technology to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while getting life back to normal. The development of third-party health passes could alter the way this works. The FDA has not yet approved third-party companies to deliver vaccination results, but many believe it is only a matter of time. It has been suggested that we can expect to have proof of vaccination or test results for entry into large public venues like theme parks, airline travel, entering other countries, and possible employee verification in the near future.  

As of right now, it does not appear that iOpen has intentions of testing on-site. They will also not store or have access to ticketholders’ medical records. Additionally, based on regional requirements, there may be some differences in requirements and timelines. It’s important to note, they cannot enforce any requirements for vaccination. Requirements to attend the event will be set by the event organizer in accordance with regional requirements. In addition to iOpen’s advanced screening app, fans can expect to see additional COVID safety measures in place when they return to stadiums and concert venues. 

iOpen has been endorsed by UCLA and Howard University. Additionally, it is rumored to have support from important elected officials on capital hill. Furthermore, there are ongoing discussions with many sports associations as well. Currently, the app is being considered for use during spring training in MLB and for March Madness with the NCAA. Five active major promotors have already signed up to participate; Troy Wyatt with Seattletalentbuying.com, Daniel J Zelisko with Zelisko Presents in Pheonix, Frank Mastalerz with FM Entertainment in Chicago, T-Roy with Surge Events in Los Angeles, and Doug Kauffman with Nobody in Particular Presents from Denver. 

iOpen has already reached out to additional entertainment industry veterans as well. Graham Williams of Margin Walker Presents, Austin Texas, has connected iOpen with NIVA #SaveourStages as part of the broader strategy. M2 and iOpen have now also re-targeted their support to these additional independent venues. The plan is to provide iOpen to their guests for free in order to help them with reopening and to get the planning return of the 3,035 venues which will generate roughly $30.2M (prelim est) in revenue returned to the industry.  In addition, iOpen has connected with Reggie Watts and has asked for him to be the Ambassador for LA, Denver, Phoenix, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, NYC, DC, and Miami events.

The next steps for iOpen will include a venue rollout in event spaces like Red Rocks, The Gorge, and Hollywood Bowl. When allowed, venues like these will be able to host events at an acceptable capacity, with delegated COVID testing requirements and HIPAA waiver compliances. Although permissible dates and details are still being finalized, it is on the horizon. Following this, they have a collaborative plan with a projected 21,487 venues targeted for re-opening entertainment. 

Some of these venues are listed in the searchable data table below:

VENUE NAMECITY STATE
STAPLES CENTERLOS ANGELESCA
THE COLOSSEUM AT CAESARS PALACELAS VEGASNV
RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATREMORRISONCO
VERIZON THEATRE AT GRAND PRAIRIEGRAND PRAIRIETX
SPRINT CENTERKANSAS CITYMO
EMPIRE POLO CLUBINDIOCA
TARGET CENTERMINNEAPOLISMN
MICROSOFT THEATERLOS ANGELESCA
ORACLE ARENAOAKLANDCA
TERMINAL 5NEW YORKNY
SHOWBOX SODOSEATTLEWA
PLAYSTATION THEATERNEW YORKNY
PECHANGA ARENASAN DIEGOCA
THE NOVOLOS ANGELESCA
PRUDENTIAL CENTERNEWARKNJ
THE WARFIELDSAN FRANCISCOCA
DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARKCARSONCA
THE FONDA THEATRELOS ANGELESCA
SCOTIABANK ARENATORONTOON
THE OGDEN THEATREDENVERCO
KFC YUM! CENTERLOUISVILLEKY
THE REGENCY BALLROOMSAN FRANCISCOCA
EL REY THEATRELOS ANGELESCA
EXPRESS LIVE!COLUMBUSOH
STAGE AEPITTSBURGHPA
METLIFE STADIUMEAST RUTHERFORDNJ
ARVEST BANK THEATRE AT THE MIDLANDKANSAS CITYMO
STARLAND BALLROOMSAYREVILLENJ
BRIDGESTONE ARENANASHVILLETN
GOLDEN GATE PARKSAN FRANCISCOCA
XL CENTERHARTFORDCT
FIDDLERS GREEN AMPHITHEATREGREENWOOD VILLAGECO
THE NATIONALRICHMONDVA
INFINITE ENERGY ARENADULUTHGA
THE NORVANORFOLKVA
PPG PAINTS ARENAPITTSBURGHPA
CAPITAL ONE ARENAWASHINGTONDC
GILA RIVER ARENAGLENDALEAZ
1STBANK CENTERBROOMFIELDCO
MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURGBROOKLYNNY
AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTERDALLASTX
GILLETTE STADIUMFOXBOROUGHMA
SOLDIER FIELDCHICAGOIL
TOYOTA ARENAONTARIOCA
THE JOINT AT HARD ROCK HOTEL LAS VEGASLAS VEGASNV
ALLSTATE ARENACHICAGOIL
BROOKLYN STEELBROOKLYNNY
STATE FARM ARENAATLANTAGA
NYCB LIVE HOME OF THE NASSAU VETERANS
UNIONDALENY
WAMU THEATERSEATTLEWA
AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENAMIAMIFL
SHRINE EXPO HALL AND GROUNDSLOS ANGELESCA
RAMS HEAD LIVE!BALTIMOREMD
BOWERY BALLROOMNEW YORKNY
BLUEBIRD THEATERDENVERCO
THE SINCLAIRCAMBRIDGEMA
THE MANN CENTERPHILADELPHIAPA
ROYAL OAK MUSIC THEATREROYAL OAKMI
GREENSBORO COLISEUM COMPLEXGREENSBORONC
HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO LAS VEGASLAS VEGASNV
FOREST HILLS STADIUMFOREST HILLSNY
KESWICK THEATREGLENSIDEPA
ROYALE BOSTONBOSTONMA
XCEL ENERGY CENTERST PAULMN
ENTERPRISE CENTERST LOUISMO
UNITED CENTERCHICAGOIL
NEWPORT MUSIC HALLCOLUMBUSOH
SAP CENTERSAN JOSECA
SHRINE EXPO HALLLOS ANGELESCA
HONDA CENTERANAHEIMCA
BARCLAYS CENTERBROOKLYNNY
GOTHIC THEATREENGLEWOODCO
WEBSTER HALLNEW YORKNY
ROGERS ARENAVANCOUVERBC
THE GREEK THEATRELOS ANGELESCA
ROSE BOWLPASADENACA
FOX THEATER POMONAPOMONACA
MOUNTAIN WINERYSARATOGACA
TD GARDENBOSTONMA
MADISON SQUARE GARDENNEW YORKNY
GRAND GARDEN ARENALAS VEGASNV
LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELDPHILADELPHIAPA
HUMPHREYS CONCERTS BY THE BAYSAN DIEGOCA
SOUTH SIDE BALLROOMDALLASTX
PEPSI CENTERDENVERCO
AT&T STADIUMARLINGTONTX
FRANKLIN MUSIC HALLPHILADELPHIAPA
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAYDOVERDE
RYMAN AUDITORIUMNASHVILLETN
AMALIE ARENATAMPAFL
ROGERS CENTRETORONTOON
FRANKLIN INSTITUTEPHILADELPHIAPA
SEATTLE CENTERSEATTLEWA
AMWAY CENTERORLANDOFL
KEYARENASEATTLEWA
TMOBILE ARENALAS VEGASNV
MARYMOOR PARKREDMONDWA
BBVA COMPASS STADIUMHOUSTONTX
OGDEN THEATREDENVERCO
TACOMA DOMETACOMAWA
CENTURYLINK CENTER OMAHAOMAHANE
THE ROXY THEATREWEST HOLLYWOODCA
SCHOTTENSTEIN CENTERCOLUMBUSOH
TOYOTA STADIUMFRISCOTX
PNC ARENARALEIGHNC
COLORADO CONVENTION CENTERDENVERCO
NATIONWIDE ARENACOLUMBUSOH
FORD FIELDDETROITMI
CENTURYLINK FIELDSEATTLEWA
BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSEINDIANAPOLISIN
BB&T CENTERSUNRISEFL
HEINZ FIELDPITTSBURGHPA
AT&T CENTER SAN ANTONIOSAN ANTONIOTX
QUEEN MARY EVENTS PARKLONG BEACHCA
GULF SHORESGULF SHORESAL
NORTHLANDS COLISEUMEDMONTONAB
SPECTRUM CENTERCHARLOTTENC
BON SECOURS WELLNESS ARENAGREENVILLESC
DE YOUNG MUSEUMSAN FRANCISCOCA
LEVIS STADIUMSANTA CLARACA
MOHEGAN SUN ARENA AT CASEY PLAZAWILKES‐BARREPA
NISSAN STADIUMNASHVILLETN
BELL MTS PLACEWINNIPEGMB
NRG STADIUMHOUSTONTX
US BANK ARENACINCINNATIOH
RAYMOND JAMES STADIUMTAMPAFL
ST AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATREST AUGUSTINEFL
THE PALACE OF AUBURN HILLSAUBURN HILLSMI
MODA CENTERPORTLANDOR
VERIZON ARENANORTH LITTLE ROCKAR
DICKS SPORTING GOODS PARKCOMMERCE CITYCO
LIBERTY MEMORIALKANSAS CITYMO
BMO HARRIS BRADLEY CENTERMILWAUKEEWI
VAN ANDEL ARENAGRAND RAPIDSMI
SANTA BARBARA BOWLSANTA BARBARACA
MERCEDESBENZ STADIUMATLANTAGA
BJCC ARENABIRMINGHAMAL
RANDALLS ISLANDNEW YORKNY
THE MASONICDETROITMI
MANDALAY BAY RESORTLAS VEGASNV
THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTELLOS ANGELESCA
IZOD CENTEREAST RUTHERFORDNJ
BOK CENTERTULSAOK
RABOBANK ARENABAKERSFIELDCA
ROUGH TRADE NYCBROOKLYNNY
SAVE MART CENTERFRESNOCA
RINGCENTRAL COLISEUMOAKLANDCA
ARROWHEAD STADIUMKANSAS CITYMO
DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARK MAIN STADIUMCARSONCA
PROSPECT PARK BANDSHELLBROOKLYNNY
SMOOTHIE KING CENTERNEW ORLEANSLA
VYSTAR VETERANS MEMORIAL ARENAJACKSONVILLEFL
SUMMERSTAGE IN CENTRAL PARKNEW YORKNY
BRONCOS STADIUM AT MILE HIGHDENVERCO
ROYAL FARMS ARENABALTIMOREMD
MILL CITY NIGHTSMINNEAPOLISMN
BOARDWALK HALLATLANTIC CITYNJ
LA COUNTY MUSEUM OF ARTLOS ANGELESCA
TIMES UNION CENTERALBANYNY
MERCURY LOUNGENEW YORKNY
SNHU ARENAMANCHESTERNH
SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOMECALGARYAB
SLEEP TRAIN ARENASACRAMENTOCA
MAPFRE STADIUMCOLUMBUSOH
VIVINT SMART HOME ARENASALT LAKE CITYUT
FIRSTONTARIO CENTREHAMILTONON
ORPHEUM THEATRE LOS ANGELESLOS ANGELESCA
GOLDEN 1 CENTERSACRAMENTOCA
DALLAS MUSEUM OF ARTDALLASTX
DOLBY THEATRELOS ANGELESCA
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY ARENAOKLAHOMA CITYOK
WILLIAMSBURG PARKBROOKLYNNY
PARAMOUNT THEATRE DENVERDENVERCO
FEDEXFORUMMEMPHISTN
LITTLE CAESARS ARENADETROITMI
SKYLINE STAGE AT THE MANNPHILADELPHIAPA
MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTERLAS VEGASNV
US BANK STADIUMMINNEAPOLISMN
GLASS HOUSEPOMONACA
MANHATTAN CENTERNEW YORKNY
TOYOTA PARKBRIDGEVIEWIL
DCU CENTERWORCESTERMA
CIVIC ARENAPITTSBURGHPA
EXPOSITION PARKLOS ANGELESCA
BELLCO THEATREDENVERCO
DUNKIN DONUTS CENTERPROVIDENCERI
SPECTRUMPHILADELPHIAPA
RUPP ARENALEXINGTONKY
TROCADEROPHILADELPHIAPA
BANC OF CALIFORNIA STADIUMLOS ANGELESCA
RUMSEY PLAYFIELDNEW YORKNY
MERCEDESBENZ SUPERDOMENEW ORLEANSLA
CENTURYLINK CENTER BOSSIER CITYBOSSIER CITYLA
SHRINE AUDITORIUMLOS ANGELESCA
COLONIAL LIFE ARENACOLUMBIASC
BILL GRAHAM CIVIC AUDITORIUMSAN FRANCISCOCA
JOE LOUIS ARENADETROITMI
FREEDOM HILL AMPHITHEATRESTERLING HEIGHTSMI
JOHN PAUL JONES ARENACHARLOTTESVILLEVA
LUCAS OIL STADIUMINDIANAPOLISIN
OHIO STADIUMCOLUMBUSOH
PINNACLE BANK ARENALINCOLNNE
FAIR GROUNDS RACE COURSENEW ORLEANSLA
MAJESTIC THEATRE DALLASDALLASTX
VOLVO CAR STADIUMCHARLESTONSC
TALKING STICK RESORT ARENAPHOENIXAZ
KINGS THEATREBROOKLYNNY
CMAC PERFORMING ARTS CENTERCANANDAIGUANY
VIDEOTRON CENTREQUEBECQC
THE VENUE AT HORSESHOE CASINOHAMMONDIN
JANNUS LIVEST PETERSBURGFL
MGM GRANDLAS VEGASNV
GREAT SCOTTALLSTONMA
RFK STADIUMWASHINGTONDC
ROGERS PLACEEDMONTONAB
HARD ROCK STADIUMMIAMIFL
FAIRPLEX AT POMONAPOMONACA
MINUTE MAID PARKHOUSTONTX
LIBERTY STATE PARKJERSEY CITYNJ
MUSEUM OF ART OF FORT LAUDERDALEFORT LAUDERDALEFL
LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUMLOS ANGELESCA
MCU PARKBROOKLYNNY
MYTH LIVEST PAULMN
TAXSLAYER CENTERMOLINEIL
SASKTEL CENTRESASKATOONSK
STATE FARM STADIUMPHOENIXAZ
DODGER STADIUMLOS ANGELESCA
DAR CONSTITUTION HALLWASHINGTONDC
EVENT CENTER AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITYSAN JOSECA
HARD ROCK LIVE AT THE SEMINOLE HARD ROCK
HOTEL AND CASINO
HOLLYWOODFL
SUNSET COVE AMPHITHEATERBOCA RATONFL
MARDI GRAS WORLDNEW ORLEANSLA
THE GRAND THEATER AT FOXWOODS RESORT
CASINO
MASHANTUCKETCT
CHAIFETZ ARENAST LOUISMO
FOX THEATER DETROITDETROITMI
RENTSCHLER FIELDEAST HARTFORDCT
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALLNEW YORKNY
ORLANDO AMPHITHEATERORLANDOFL
THE BUELL THEATREDENVERCO
HYVEE ARENAKANSAS CITYMO
THE FORUMINGLEWOODCA
BALBOA THEATRESAN DIEGOCA
DOWNSVIEW PARK ALLEN ROADTORONTOON
PROVIDENCE MEDICAL CENTER AMPHITHEATERBONNER SPRINGSKS
LSU TIGER STADIUMBATON ROUGELA
ATLANTA CIVIC CENTERATLANTAGA
NORTH CHARLESTON COLISEUMNORTH CHARLESTONSC
LAFAYETTE CAJUNDOMELAFAYETTELA
WAREHOUSE LIVEHOUSTONTX
DENVER ART MUSEUMDENVERCO
DOUBLE JJ RANCHROTHBURYMI
MAVERIK CENTERWEST VALLEY CITYUT
AGGANIS ARENABOSTONMA
UNO LAKEFRONT ARENANEW ORLEANSLA
FIRSTENERGY STADIUMCLEVELANDOH
THE RITZ YBORTAMPAFL
THE TOWN HALLNEW YORKNY
THE BASEMENTCOLUMBUSOH
LOS ANGELES LAKERSLOS ANGELESCA
SAN DIEGO CIVIC THEATRESAN DIEGOCA
WOLSTEIN CENTER AT CSUCLEVELANDOH
RICHMOND COLISEUMRICHMONDVA
FEDEX FIELDLANDOVERMD
SOCIAL HALL SFSAN FRANCISCOCA
MISSION BALLROOMDENVERCO
SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTSTORONTOON
FOX THEATER ATLANTAATLANTAGA
NEAL S BLAISDELL ARENAHONOLULUHI
CARL BLACK CHEVY WOODS AMPHITHEATERWHITES CREEKTN
A AND R MUSIC BARCOLUMBUSOH
PARAMOUNT THEATRE SEATTLESEATTLEWA
BRYCE JORDAN CENTERUNIVERSITY PARKPA
DENNY SANFORD PREMIER CENTERSIOUX FALLSSD
VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUMPORTLANDOR
GEORGIA DOMEATLANTAGA
AGORA THEATRE AND BALLROOMCLEVELANDOH
ARAGON BALLROOMCHICAGOIL
HERTZ ARENAESTEROFL
PLANET HOLLYWOOD RESORT AND CASINOLAS VEGASNV
FISERV FORUMMILWAUKEEWI
WASHINGTON STATE FAIRPUYALLUPWA
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAYCONCORDNC
ELLIE CAULKINS OPERA HOUSEDENVERCO
REBELTORONTOON
ALLEN COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL COLISEUMFORT WAYNEIN
BLUE CROSS ARENAROCHESTERNY
ORPHEUM THEATRE MINNEAPOLISMINNEAPOLISMN
PEORIA CIVIC CENTERPEORIAIL
CITY NATIONAL CIVICSAN JOSECA
HERITAGE PARK AMPHITHEATRESIMPSONVILLESC
CANADIAN TIRE CENTEROTTAWAON
PARAMOUNT THEATRE OAKLANDOAKLANDCA
FORT WORTH CONVENTION CENTERFORT WORTHTX
FARGODOMEFARGOND
LA LIVE EVENT DECKLOS ANGELESCA
LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARKLOS ANGELESCA
LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTERLOS ANGELESCA
BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTERCUYAHOGA FALLSOH
THE SANTANDER ARENAREADINGPA
CHILDRENS MERCY PARKKANSAS CITYKS
LOS ANGELES SPORTS ARENALOS ANGELESCA
LONG BEACH CONVENTION AND ENTERTAINMENT
CENTER
LONG BEACHCA
HAMPTON COLISEUMHAMPTONVA
VENTURA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDSVENTURACA
MIDDLE HARBOR SHORELINE PARKOAKLANDCA
CARDINAL STADIUMLOUISVILLEKY
REPUBLIC NOLANEW ORLEANSLA
BC PLACEVANCOUVERBC
THE DANFORTH MUSIC HALLTORONTOON
YUENGLING CENTERTAMPAFL
ENCORE THEATER AT WYNNLAS VEGASNV
ARENA AT HARBOR YARDBRIDGEPORTCT
PETCO PARKSAN DIEGOCA
GROSSINGER MOTORS ARENABLOOMINGTONIL
MAC AT MONMOUTH UNIVERSITYWEST LONG BRANCHNJ
DURHAM PERFORMING ARTS CENTERDURHAMNC
BELL CENTREMONTREALQC
ROCKLAHOMA EVENT GROUNDSPRYOROK
HUNTINGTON CENTERTOLEDOOH
ROSEMONT THEATREROSEMONTIL
ALAMODOMESAN ANTONIOTX
TDECU STADIUMHOUSTONTX
EAGLEBANK ARENAFAIRFAXVA
RENO EVENTS CENTERRENONV
NATIONALS PARKWASHINGTONDC
COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTREATLANTAGA
CHASE FIELDPHOENIXAZ
CREDIT UNION 1 ARENA AT UICCHICAGOIL
STATE THEATRE MINNEAPOLISMINNEAPOLISMN
WEST RIVERFRONT PARKDETROITMI
VIRGINIA CREDIT UNION LIVE!RICHMONDVA
GIANT CENTERHERSHEYPA
CHI HEALTH CENTER OMAHAOMAHANB
LANDERS CENTERSOUTHAVENMS
HARD ROCK LIVE ORLANDOORLANDOFL
CITY MARKETKANSAS CITYMO
VETERANS UNITED HOME LOANS AMPHITHEATERVIRGINIA BEACHVA
PNC PARKPITTSBURGHPA
THE GRAMMY MUSEUMLOS ANGELESCA
PEABODY OPERA HOUSEST LOUISMO
TIMESUNION CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
JACKSONVILLEFL
MILLER PARKMILWAUKEEWI
PENSACOLA BAY CENTERPENSACOLAFL
ORPHEUM THEATRE OTAWAVANCOUVERBC
THE FORD CENTEREVANSVILLEIN
THE DOME AT AMERICAS CENTERST LOUISMO
QUICKEN LOANS ARENACLEVELANDOH
NMSU PAN AMERICAN CENTERLAS CRUCESNM
MAYAN THEATERLOS ANGELESCA
CAESARS PALACELAS VEGASNV
PARIS LAS VEGASLAS VEGASNV
BOJANGLES COLISEUMCHARLOTTENC
ALABAMA THEATREBIRMINGHAMAL
PALACE THEATRE COLUMBUSCOLUMBUSOH
FREEMAN COLISEUMSAN ANTONIOTX
HUDSON RIVER PARK PIER 26NEW YORKNY
COCOA RIVERFRONT PARKCOCOAFL
STATE FARM STADIUMGLENDALEAZ
AT&T PARKSAN FRANCISCOCA
CROSS INSURANCE ARENAPORTLANDME
NORTH CHARLESTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTERNORTH CHARLESTONSC
HULU THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDENNEW YORKNY
TIAA BANK FIELDJACKSONVILLEFL
SOUTHERN ALBERTA JUBILEE AUDITORIUMCALGARYAB
RIVERBEND MUSIC CENTERCINCINNATIOH
BUSCH STADIUMST LOUISMO
POMPANO BEACH AMPHITHEATERPOMPANO BEACHFL
TOWNSHIP AUDITORIUMCOLUMBIASC
MODELL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT THE LYRICBALTIMOREMD
JAMES L KNIGHT CENTERMIAMIFL
LAMBEAU FIELDGREEN BAYWI
NORTHERN ALBERTA JUBILEE AUDITORIUMEDMONTONAB
PARK THEATERLAS VEGASNV
WAR MEMORIAL ARENA AT THE ONCENTERSYRACUSENY
DARLINGS WATERFRONT PAVILIONBANGORME
FREEDOM HALLLOUISVILLEKY
AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE AMPHITHEATER MILWAUKEEWI
HERITAGE PARK AMPHITHEATERSIMPSONVILLE SC
HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM LOS ANGELESCA
TACO BELL ARENABOISEID
COASTAL CREDIT UNION MUSIC PARK AT WALNUT CREEKRALEIGHNC
OVENS AUDITORIUM CHARLOTTENC
RENAISSANCE PALM SPRINGS HOTELPALM SPRINGS CA
NATIONAL BOWL MILTONKEYNES
US CELLULAR CENTERASHEVILLENC
MONMOUTH PARK OCEANPORTNJ
FROST AMPHITHEATER ANAHEIMCA
BEACON THEATRENEW YORKNY
RAISING CANES RIVER CENTER ARENASMART FINANCIALBATON ROUGELA
CENTRE AT SUGAR LAND SUGAR LANDTX
RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA GRAND FORKSND
PNC MUSIC PAVILION CHARLOTTENC
STATE THEATRE PETERSBURGST PETERSBURGFL
SOUTHSIDE MUSIC HALLDALLASTX
RIVIERA PALM SPRINGS HOTELPALM SPRINGSCA
DON HASKINS CENTEREL PASOTX
VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUMPortlandOR
ENERGY CENTERMADISONWI
HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATREST LOUISMO
WEMBLY STADIUMMIDDLESEXUK
APOLLO THEATERNEW YORKNY
PYRAMID ARENAMEMPHISTN
PETERSEN EVENTS CENTERPITTSBURGHPA
CHARLESTON CIVIC CENTERCHARLESTONWV
AMOS SOUTHENDCHARLOTTENC

Experiments Test Spread of COVID-19 at Large Venues

Several countries have experimented with testing prior to large venue events. On December 12, 2020, a concert was held in Barcelona, Spain, with 463 attendees and 4 performances. This was not just any concert; it was a five-hour concert experiment. The study believed that with the right conditions, there would be no increase in risk for COVID-19 transmission. The 1047 study participants were between the ages of 18 and 59 and had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. On the same day of the concert, all participants were tested, and half were assigned to an active group and the other half to a control group. This resulted in 463 individuals attending the concert. Eight days following the concert, attendees were tested again. The results showed that none of the participants were infected with COVID, while two of the control group (those who did not attend) were infected. The following safety measures were also put in place:

  • Limited outdoor smoking area, with a restricted number of people allowed at a time.
  • Alcoholic beverages were served in another room, and participants were only allowed to take their masks off to drink.
  • An N95 was given to every participant as they entered, and they were required to wear the mask for the duration of the concert.
  • Although physical distancing was not enforced, the venue was at half capacity.
  • Singing and dancing were allowed.

The results were very promising. Participants said they enjoyed the performance in a post-event questionnaire. The researchers concluded, “Attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections. Hopefully, this data will pave the way to save live concerts during the COVID pandemic”.

A similar experiment was also conducted in Germany. The study, called ‘Restart-19’, had roughly 1500 volunteers attend a concert simulation with various safety protocols in place. Each of the participants was required to test negative within 48 hours of attending the event and wear a mask the entire time. The study, organized by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, aimed to study crowd behavior and understand how COVID-19 could spread at a large social gathering. There were three scenarios acted out during this concert simulation.

In the first scenario, the event was run the way concerts were held before the pandemic with no social distancing. In the second scenario, there were multiple entry points to reduce crowding and more space between participants. There was a smaller group of attendees in the third scenario, and all participants were required to stand 5 feet apart. Each participant had an electronic contact tracing device recording their movements as they walked around the stadium. Researchers also mixed hand sanitizer with fluorescent marking spray, which tracked surfaces people touched the most. Lastly, a smoke machine was used to help visualize the aerosols that spread the virus.   Tim Bendzko, a German pop singer, performed, and although he was nervous it would feel “fake,” the crowd was really engaged.

 

Photo By David Conger

What followed after the concert was arguably the most interesting part. Using the data collected from the concert, a computer simulation was created. In this new virtual concert scenario, 24 infected participants were included. With these infected individuals added to each of the three scenarios, any analysis looked at the aeration system and the number of close contacts.

After analyzing the data, researchers suggested holding live events in arenas but made recommendations to avoid the spread. The first recommendation was to reduce the number of attendees. The second recommendation was to have seated concerts vs. standing concerts as this is easier to maintain distancing. Additionally, participants should wear a mask, and they should only be allowed to eat and drink at their assigned seats. Researchers felt that individuals working at the venue should be put in place to enforce rules.  Lastly, an adequate ventilation system must be put in place.

Although these recommendations would make the concert-going experience vastly different, it is promising. It is important to note that this experiment was conducted in August when the world was still waiting on a vaccination. With multiple vaccinations now being administered, and increasingly effective testing in place, there is likely more opportunity to create a concert-going experience that more closely resembles the one we once knew.

Countries Return to Live Music With Great Success

Live music is back in full force in New Zealand. Just this week, around 20,000 people attended a packed concert – without a mask in sight! This was thanks to the nation’s second consecutive month without a single COVID-19 transmission.  Wuhan, China, once the epicenter of the virus, has had several large events recently. In August, after three months of no new cases, a large concert at a water park attracted thousands of fans. Pictures quickly circled the internet, with images of attendees standing shoulder to shoulder with no masks. Taiwan and Australia are also back to hosting concerts, and thanks to iOpen, the US is likely not far behind.

M2 Capital’s new app, iOpen, is the light at the end of the tunnel for fans of live entertainment. Each day, more people are receiving the vaccine, and hopefully soon, iOpen can begin the venue rollout. Many are eager to return to live music and sports events and are looking forward to the day venues can reopen safely.

Photo By David Conger
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