Here's What You Can Expect from Concerts in 2021

By Brittany Loeffler on July 23, 2020

In a time of a global pandemic that shows no signs of simply disappearing, life has changed drastically. From countries going on full lockdown, schools closing, working from home, and events being canceled, it’s safe to say that the year 2020 has been like no other. As scientists and researchers study and learn more about the novel coronavirus, we are learning how to adapt to a new normal.

This new normal of hand sanitizer, face masks, and social distancing will most likely go well into 2021. How will this affect everyday activities? I’m taking a look at how 2021 concerts will change and how they can still be enjoyed responsibly while a pandemic rages.

concerts in 2021

via Unsplash

Staying Safe During the Time of Coronavirus

First, let’s start by reviewing the three main ways that we can stay safe during this coronavirus pandemic.

Wash your hands

We were taught how to properly wash our hands when we first started going to school and touching everything in sight. In the time of coronavirus, you should be washing your hands constantly, especially when out in public!

This consists of using warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds while rubbing your hands together, between your fingers and up to your wrists. You can always review how to properly wash your hands in case you forgot over the years! (Don’t feel bad, a lot of us have gotten lazy with it.)

Wear a face mask

We are learning that the virus can be spread through the air, which means wearing a face mask not only protects you, but also the people who you may come in contact with. A face mask will prevent your germs from spreading, especially if you sneeze or cough. Remember, even if you don’t show symptoms, you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect others!

Social distance

If you could never estimate what the length of 6 feet looked like before, you definitely know it now. The CDC recommends that we stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in our immediate circle. This reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. Social distancing with a face mask is the safest way to stay healthy while out in public.

concerts in 2021

Infographic by Brittany Loeffler

How Venues are Changing for 2021 Concerts

Now that you know the three main safety requirements to help contain the coronavirus and to protect yourself and others, it’s time to see how venues are changing in order to hold concerts in 2021.

Temperature Checks 

Many venues are talking about checking people’s temperature at the door before entering the venue. This is done with a no-contact infrared thermometer, which means you can still achieve social distancing while being checked for an elevated temperature. If you are running a fever, you will be turned away from the venue.

Hand Sanitizer Stations

We know that hand sanitizer can kill the coronavirus immediately, so you can expect to see a lot of sanitizing stations around venues. Many of these stations will be located at the entrances and exits and possible at the end of some rows. Most venues will use machines with automatic disposal so you won’t have to touch anything.

Crowd Control

To keep in line with the social distancing guidelines, many venues will be controlling how many people can be at 2021 concerts at a time. This means limiting the number of tickets sold, leaving entire rows and seats empty, and having a limit to how many people can be in a restroom at a time. Unfortunately, you won’t be in the middle of a large crowd or mosh pitting during 2021 concerts, at least not until an effective vaccine is available.

Required Face Masks

Many states in the country have already adopted a mandatory face mask requirement when people go out in public. These masks should be worn when interacting with strangers and when indoors. The same will most likely be implemented for concertgoers in 2021.

As you belt your heart out to your favorite song live, it will probably be through a mask. Some may complain about how it’s uncomfortable to wear, but always remember it is to protect yourself and others.

Plexiglass at Service Counters

The days of being face to face with a bartender or a cashier taking your food order are over for now. Many stores and restaurants have been installing plexiglass dividers between customers and employees to reduce the transmission of the virus. You can expect to see these at the bar and food stands during your 2021 concerts. Get used to reaching under the glass to hand over your credit card and accept your food.

Contact Tracing Registration

Some venues are considering implementing contact tracing for anyone who attends a concert in 2021. Contact tracing is to see who has come in contact or been in the same area as someone who is a carrier of the coronavirus. If someone does test positive with the virus, the people they were around would be notified and asked to get tested as well as anyone they had been in contact with.

While there is some debate over the privacy issues of contact tracing, namely providing your location, it is an effective way to control a potential outbreak. When purchasing a ticket for 2021 concerts, you may be asked to register for contact tracing and download and application on your phone.

What You Can Expect 

I’ve covered how concert venues are changing in regard to make them safer for concertgoers amid a global pandemic. Now, it’s time to talk about what you can expect concerts in 2021 to be like.

Higher Ticket Prices

If you’re considering going to 2021 concerts, you can definitely expect to pay more for concert tickets. Since venues are only filling at a limited capacity, they’ll have to make up that loss of tickets somehow! So, you will most likely be paying even more for your ticket, for food and drinks, and even parking at the venue.

If you thought going to concerts was expensive before, you might be shocked at the prices for 2021!

More Outdoor Concerts

Many people are taking advantage of outdoor activities rather than being indoors during the pandemic. There is less risk of contracting and transmitting the virus in an open air setting. So, don’t be surprised to see more outdoor concerts taking place rather than in enclosed venues. This openness means we can still enjoy live music in a safe manner. The warmer months will be stocked full of concerts in 2021. You may see fewer concerts happening in the winter compared to summer so artists can take advantage of the outdoor venues to keep their audience safe.

Virtual Concerts Online

The most fun part about going to a concert is being with a crowd of people who share a love for the artist on stage and his music. You experience an atmosphere like no other. Unfortunately, it may be a little while before we can have a full concert experience. You can expect to see many concerts being streamed online for a small price compared to an actual ticket in the year 2021.

There are some people who don’t want to risk going out into a crowd, which is completely understandable! So, they can still feel part of the experience by streaming the show live.

When most of the country was locked down, we did see artists performing online and collaborating with other artists to keep us entertained. You can expect some more of that when it comes to 2021 concerts.

Smaller Venues Closing

It doesn’t make sense for a small venue to hold concerts in 2021 because they could only have a handful of people enjoying a concert that is expensive to produce and perform. Financially, it wouldn’t make sense for most places. You can expect to see some of the smaller venues in your city shut down, whether it be permanently or indefinitely.

The large stadium venues will most likely be the main place concerts are held because they have the space for people to still practice social distancing while lounges and clubs cannot offer that option to their audiences.

Cancellations and Rescheduling

One thing we have learned during the coronavirus pandemic is that things have a way of changing pretty quickly. While people and artists are optimistic about touring and holding concerts in 2021, there is a very real chance that these tours can be canceled or rescheduled once again. It all depends on the statistics and outbreaks happening around the world.

Some shows may be canceled in hot spot areas that are experiencing a worse outbreak than others while still being held in areas with lower case counts.

It’s a good idea to check the return and refund policy before purchasing any 2021 concert tickets.

Receiving Refunds for Canceled Concerts

There are many people squandering to get refunds for canceled and rescheduled shows during the pandemic. Some have had great luck in getting a refund while others have been on the phone for hours just to find out that they cannot ask for a refund until 30 days after the show has been rescheduled. Each ticketing company and venue operates by different rules, so I suggest you look into each specific policy.

Many companies are optioning not to refund tickets fully, but instead offer an exchange or the option to use the ticket at the rescheduled show. This article offers more in-depth information that you may find helpful.

concerts in 2021

via Unsplash

Concerts Already Scheduled for 2021


You can expect to hear some new music from Adele in September 2020, which means she will be going on tour in 2021. The British singer will grace your speakers and local venues with her powerful voice and sassy demeanor with an entertaining and memorable performance. As of June 2020, the tour has been confirmed but details are still yet to be released.

Harry Styles

Heartthrob Harry Styles has to put his tour on hold due to the pandemic, but now has plans to pick it back up come 2021. He will be starting his European leg of the tour in February before coming to the United States in August.

Chris Stapleton

Country singer Chris Stapleton will be performing his All-American Road Show tour from April to November in the United States in 2021. He did have to drop some cities from his original tour, though. The new cities and dates will be announced soon.

Queen with Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert has been touring with Queen for many years now lending his voice for the beloved Freddie Mercury. Since their tour was canceled due to the pandemic, they have decided to reschedule it for May 2021. However, they are only performing in Europe as of now, so as of now they do not have plans to come to the States.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd, known for his catchy R&B music that constantly plays over the airwaves and in stores has officially rescheduled his canceled tour. He will start his tour in June 2021, making for a great summer activity. Hopefully, he will choose some outdoor venues in consideration of his audience’s health.

The Future of Concerts

To look forward to the future right now is like staring into a bowl of cloudy water. There is a lot of uncertainty with things, but we hope eventually that things will get back to normal and we can move on from quarantines, social distancing, and coronavirus.

Until that happens, getting back to normal life will look a little different, especially when going to concerts. 2021 concerts will look different, with more emphasis on hygiene and social distancing. There won’t be as many concerts taking place and ticket prices are expected to increase to cover the costs of entertaining smaller crowds.

If you do choose to go to concerts in 2021, please remember to follow guidelines from both the venue and the CDC to keep yourself and your neighbors healthy.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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