Return of concert tours brings both excitement and nerves for students after COVID-19 hiatus


In 2020, musicians had to completely reinvent the ways that they shared their music with the public. Touring was completely non-existent until a few months ago due to the dangers presented by COVID-19. However, as the nation works through the pandemic, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and My Chemical Romance are just a few of the artists that rescheduled their highly anticipated tours. Most tours were rescheduled for 2021, and after over a year, live performances have started again. On Wed., Sept. 8, duo Twenty One Pilots performed at a pop-up concert in Columbus, Ohio to prepare for their October tour. Additionally, Harry Styles’ Love On Tour started on Sept. 4 and reached Chicago on Sept. 24.

However, the Delta Variant, which has been circulating throughout the United States, has made it complicated for touring to start again. Since July, mask mandates have been reinstated all over the country, including in Evanston, which announced its indoor mandate on Aug. 24. Overall confidence in the safety of live events has declined. 

“I’ve been to a live event recently, but it was outside and we were spread out,” junior Yudora Petraitis says. “It could be too crowded, and I’m nervous about being close to unvaccinated people.” 

Other students like junior Avon Wright are also on the fence. 

“A smaller, more local concert would feel safe, because I don’t trust a lot of people to follow restrictions.” Wright says.

Wright is also a part of the marching band, which has recently started performing live again. 

“Our music program has taken a lot of precautions. I trust our band directors, and I trust that everyone on the marching band is taking this seriously,” Wright explains.

Performance spaces are putting new regulations in place for protection against COVID, including contactless entry, distanced seating, mandatory vaccination, and of course, masks. Despite the new safety measures, some are skeptical with the idea of being at a live show. 

“I’m still uncomfortable being inside,” senior Maddie Caro says. “Outside would be better, but I would still be nervous.” Caro adds.

With the Delta Variant not yet under control, it’s understandable that some are anxious about attending live shows. Even with the strict new regulations for COVID-19, many people are choosing to avoid these crowded spaces. Hopefully, for the sake of the performers and the people who are excited to go back, the new regulations will be effective in keeping the crowds safe.