Harry Styles performs at the first show of his tour on Sep. 4, 2021. Photo: @entertainmenttonight on Instagram.

As of Sep. 2021, the concert and festival circuit will be reopened as many artists plan to start up their schedules again after almost two years of cancellations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, any large gatherings, such as concerts, were postponed until an unknown date in 2021 or early 2022. Only in their stark absence did music fans realize how vital and exciting these yearly events are to their lives.

Over the summer, outdoor concerts became more common, with social distancing measures put in place to further combat the spread of the virus. People became more optimistic about the return of live performances when the Biden Administration declared their goal to have the majority of Americans vaccinated by the start of summer 2021. According to Rolling Stone, most ticket holders chose to keep their tickets instead of refunding them as of mid-spring. The uncertainty surrounding the fate of live music improved on a small but significant scale: smaller indoor venues and outdoor venues opened up with variable precautions based on the current situation and individual guidelines. 

Still, no major artists embarked on a global arena or stadium tour for the majority of 2021. Now, with the distribution of vaccines improving every day, artists have finally put official dates on the calendar. Harry Styles began his tour on Sep. 4 and is requiring masks as well as a proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test. Styles recently postponed his United Kingdom and Europe tour indefinitely due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. Artists like Elton John and Billie Eilish plan to officially begin their tours in Jan. and Feb. 2022 respectively and will perform in Europe as well as the US. Lorde plans to tour in April and will perform in intimate theater venues instead of arenas due to personal preference.

Coachella has been officially rescheduled to April 2022 after multiple date changes. Music festivals like this one offer a way to enjoy many artists outside instead of in a packed indoor venue. In fact, many Pace Upper School students attended Atlanta’s own Music Midtown on Sep. 18 and 19. Like the other upcoming concert dates, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required to be admitted to the Piedmont Park festival.

With the recent Delta variant spike, the world is still full of uncertainty. However, performances are necessary for the music industry to fully recover and for people to get their jobs back, as well as for the enjoyment of music fans. One can only hope that these tentative touring plans become a reality after two years of cancellations.

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