Omicron: Uncertainty hangs over end of year music concerts

Touring, which is a big source of Nigerian artists’ income, would likely be impacted heavily in December due to fears of the Omicron virus, BusinessDay has learnt.

The total number of shows announced for December 2021 is about 52 from data seen from different sources. This is slightly higher than the number of shows announced in 2019 indicating confidence in the opening of the economy after the COVID-19 lockdown. However, if the Omicron scare eventually leads to another lockdown, organisers of these events in 2021 may see their event shut down like in 2020.

Some of the big shows slated for this December include Livespot360, Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged, and Flytime music festival which will be hosting A-list artists like Tems, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Psquare, Davido, and Burna Boy.

Some of these artists would also host their own live concerts with other musicians like Adekunle Gold, Wurld, Chike, Buju, and Omahlay doing the same at different locations in Nigeria.

Speaking with BusinessDay Dare Art Alade, Chief Creative Director of Livespot360, said that as much as people want to come out in their numbers to celebrate the Yuletide, organizers of events will put in government-regulated measures to make it safe to attend.

“Establishments have figured out how to work around it by putting protocols in place everything from temperature checks to sanitization in some instances people have to present COVID test or vaccination status and these are the parameters we have to work with in order to continue with how we live our lives,” Art Alade said.

When asked if there would be a bigger turn up of music fans despite COVID, the former singer expressed optimism that people would want to be outside with their families to enjoy these times as long as they were safe.

“That is yet to be seen, everyone is gearing to enjoy themselves, enjoy their ‘Detty December’ in a very safe and responsible way and I think that’s important,”

Speaking under anonymity an expert on live events spoke to BusinessDay saying that concerts in 2021 will be bigger in number of festivals compared to 2019 because a lot of concert guys didn’t have events last year in 2020 during the post COVID era.

Read also:  Omicron: UK adds Nigeria to its travel red list

“Everybody wants to do an event, even the artists that are not big enough to do shows are joining forces with other artists to do joint shows, it’s going to be so much bigger than 2019,” the source said.

The uncertainty of the Omicron variant has left organisers of music events hoping shows are not cancelled by the government, as arrangements have been made for venues and artists have been paid to show up with non-refundable clauses

Because these artists charge a high price for shows, the price for tickets will be affected. Livespot, for instance, who are hosting 6 events have each of those ticket prices ranging from N20,000 for regular tickets to N5,000,000 for tables of 8 people,

“Every artist have been bigger with their art. Artist like Burna Boy has won Grammy and other artists like Ckay, Wizkid, Tems and Chike who have high streaming numbers and topping chart in foreign location would most definitely demand a higher amount of money than was collected in 2019.

Burna Boys’ upcoming events are charged at N50,000 for a ticket, with Davido charging the same amount. Others like Adekunle Gold who will be performing in Abuja set ticket sales at N10,000 while the Dj Spinall concert is N10,000 as well.

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