The (Not So?) Tentative Return of Live Music

A look at the challenges touring musicians faced over the last year, and how the industry is adjusting to the new normal.












Fewer industries felt a more specific and intense economic burden during the pandemic than live music. Venues went quiet. Musicians were stuck at home, with an occasional livestream to leaven the boredom (and financial strain). Though the federal government recently passed relief measures intended to stem the financial pain felt by performance venues, the rollout of the programs has been chaotic, leaving the industry not much better off than it was 16 months ago.

Still, tours are being announced for the fall, and concerts are starting up again, even as new variants of the coronavirus threaten the fragile balance between freedom and safety afforded by vaccines.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about the challenges faced by the live music business over the last year, and how the industry is adjusting to the new normal.

Guest:

Ben Sisario, The New York Times’s music business reporter

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