So now that it has been announced today that social distanced music venues and theatres can come back, ( see a news piece here ) what do we think the future holds for indoor festivals such as C2C Festival?
Whilst of course C2C isn’t until March and we are only in August it may well be that by then things will go back to normal but is that really realistic? Will it be cancelled again? Will US acts even come over so soon? If goes ahead, what safety measures do we think will be in place and what do we think may work? Masks, sanitiser etc and temp testing aside (And hopeful vaccination)
Capacity is likely to take a big hit. The O2 Arena holds maybe 20,000? Will that be reduced for social distancing by March? Quite possibly and if so how? We think perhaps the gap between the stage and front row will likely be even further to avoid sweat and spit accidentally flying onto the Photographers or front rows and to avoid people reaching out to high five an artist or grab their hand etc. I know I have heard the photography pit for fans at CMA will likely be gone. I can’t remember how close stage is to be honest but I have seen other places say the gap will be wider due to those reasons so artists don’t have to wear masks.
Gaps between seats may be a thing. At seated venues the seats are so close together that you truly get to know your neighbour. It is likely that the three blocks that usually have about fifteen or so seats per row will be much less or perhaps even sold in groups. For example, let’s say when tickets go on sale I buy three front row seats. Our seats may just be in a three whilst the next may be in a group of two. Make sense? Probably not but am trying. Alternatively they may just be sold in pairs with gaps between each pair which means anyone wanting a group bigger than that may suffer. This is something for the experts to figure out of course.
A bigger gap between rows. As well as seats being incredibly close the rows are in very much close proximity too. It is likely we will lose every other row per block to avoid the possibility of germs being breathed down our necks. Yes the likelihood of masks being worn will be in place but let’s face it, people need to drink, eat and will take it off from time to time. Another thing may be no seats directly behind you but instead behind previously mentioned gap which also means no view blocking. That will be good for us shorties who always have the bus load of tallest people on earth in front of us.
Those who already have tickets
Well I think this is the biggest issue of all. If goes ahead like normal then no problems. But if does change in capacity will people’s seats be moved and mean less tickets available on general sale? The surrounding stages ideas listed below may still be a good thing to do but can much be done for next year in terms of actual arena as so many already have tickets? Either way, don’t panic. Don’t start emailing the venue. We all want it to go ahead.
Getting inside the venue
How can the large queues be monitored? Perhaps an earlier opening time or only a certain amount of people being allowed to queue at one time? Yes queues are monitored by the social distancing markings on the floor but we are talking thousands of people here. Again, one for the experts of crowd control.
One of the highlights of C2C Festival is the other stages, especially for those who only want to go to the day events. Queues for these shows are always troublesome with people queueing up for hours to get into the likes of the Indigo and various other venues and staying all day for act after act.
What might work is a ballot/lottery system like they do at some stages/shows at CMA Fest. As the capacity will have to be reduced and queuing will want to be avoided as much as possible, perhaps an application to apply for these shows in advance will be a good idea? Fans will have a list of acts playing across the weekend in the day and in which venues and can apply via the app to whom they want to be entered to see. I think people should be able to apply for as many shows as they want but is unlikely that they will win for every show as many will apply and there needs to be some sort of fairness involved. Winners will win a pair of tickets to a show in the Indigo or other venue and will have a certain time to queue and will only be the winners queuing to avoid a mass gathering. Winners will also have to leave again straight after the show. This would mean people can no longer stay in there all day act after act. Also may mean a quick sanitise between acts. Seems unfair but is it really? It means everyone gets a fair chance and whilst you may only get to see one act a day (depending on what you win), at least it means these stages can still happen. There would likely have to be two separate ballots, one for weekend ticket holders getting priority and then another smaller percentage for those attending for the free events in the day. That is of course if even having these day type shows can even be free anymore? It may be a chargeable event now to make up for lost revenue on the event as a whole. If that is the case then a ballot/lottery may still be a good idea allowing people the opportunity to win the chance to buy their tickets rather than all going at the same time and people losing out etc. This may have to be in place for the town square too or a very closely monitored social distanced marked off queuing system and much reduced capacity. However, I think the ballot/lottery system for the stage there would also be beneficial and the market square to be separated and from a different entrance so those who just want to shop can do so. Again, this will be monitored at a reduced capacity.
Well this is up to them. Perhaps a definite booking in advance system and no queues for people just turning up. If do turn up then name and number on the door and come back when contacted for a table.
Meet and Greets/Signings
Probably a good idea to not do any for a while
Overall, It’s a mind blower that’s for sure and perhaps not worth worrying about just yet but the main purpose of this article was to see how we can keep all of C2C Festival and not lose any of it because I for one love the surrounding stages and want it to be a safe and fair system.
What do you all think?