Concerts hope to make comback with social distancing setups


Photo by Brandon Tam ’23

Stern Grove, a popular concert venue, will remain silent for awhile.

Grayson Salomon ’22, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When the Coronavirus pandemic first started, people were told to stay home and social distance from each other. This meant all in-person events, such as concerts, were cancelled or postponed. 

Avid concert goer and English teacher,  Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88, expressed his remorse on the absence of live music. 

“One of the biggest things I am missing during the pandemic, besides being at school with the Crusader Family, is going to see live music,” he said.

As we are about six months into this pandemic, live events have been returning slowly with in-person attendance in certain states, such as football games. Concerts, on the other hand, are projected to make a return in late 2021 or early 2022. Though this might not be the case for the United Kingdom. 

On Aug 11. 2020, a pop-up venue called the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Gosforth Park, Newcastle, Northern England, tested out a socially distanced concert with about 2,500 people in attendance. People arrived in groups up to five to watch artist, Sam Fender, on socially distanced platforms in the park. 

Upon arrival, distancing was enforced. Cars were parked two meters apart and attendees were guided to their own private platform to view the show. 

Noah Tango ’22 thinks the show was a good first step towards the return of live music, saying, “The socially distanced concert in the UK was a good step in providing entertainment for people who enjoy concerts. I think it was a good idea.”

After seeing the show, Vezzali-Pascual believed that this type of event could be done at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco.

Now, one of the main questions that arises from this concert is, would people feel safe and want to attend?

Antonio Roca ’21 said that he would feel safe attending a socially distanced concert, but only under the right precautions. 

Tango feels the same way. “I would feel safe attending a socially distanced concert because there would be strict guidelines enforced,” he said.

Even though this might be the future for concerts and live music, not everybody supports this new norm. Vezzali-Pascual commented on what makes a concert amazing for him 

He said, “While my days of crowding up to the stage with thousands of other loud, sweaty, and crazy mosh-pit people are long gone, I think I would prefer the old style. There is nothing like the energy of a crowd packed in closely in the same space and all vibing to the same artist who is creating a one-time piece of live music that will never be done in quite the same way again. While the audience in the photo looks like they are having a great time, something about the energy to me just wouldn’t be the same having to be socially distanced. But who knows? I’m sure I would appreciate just being there and hearing music!”

While the future of live music and entertainment seems foggy, many hope that concerts will return to their traditional style.

Roca summed it up by saying, “I believe when the whole pandemic has ended, the traditional style of concerts will be better than before!”