Between the stay-at-home order, the closing of non-essential businesses, and the ban on large public gatherings, we have all felt the effects of COVID-19, especially in the arts and entertainment industry. How will this rapidly spreading disease affect the future of summer festivals?
What we know is this: the city of Chicago has shut down public gatherings of more than ten people until May 15th. Other states have shut down public events until June and beyond. Is Illinois going to follow suit?
On April 10th, Governor JB Pritzker has suggested the cancellation of public events until a vaccine for the virus is created, which may still be many months away. But, the confirmed number of cases and deaths caused by coronavirus complications has decreased over the past few days. Is this a good sign for us? The city of Chicago has been approving special event permit applications beginning in May, with the condition that the permit may be revoked pending concerns for public safety due to COVID-19. Even with a sliver of a doubt, Chicago is providing us a glimmer of hope that we will soon be back to performing at festivals all over the city!
There is so much unknown, and new discoveries about this virus are being made every day. We must continue to be creative while navigating through our new norm. We will come out stronger on the other side. Soon, it will be safe to go to festivals. No one is going to want to stay indoors when this is over! We’re dreaming of the day we get to rock out and drink cold beer outside with our friends again. We must continue to look on the bright side of this dark time. Until then, stay safe and healthy!