Lollapalooza co-founder predicts gigs and festivals won’t return until 2022

“It’s going to take that long"

The co-founder of Lollapalooza festival believes that live music won’t fully return until 2022.

Speaking on the ‘Bob Lefsetz Podcast’, Marc Geiger said he believed “super-spreader” events like concerts and sports events will continue to be affected until the coronavirus pandemic is more fully under control.

When asked about when he thought live music would return, Geiger said: “In my humble opinion, it’s going to be 2022.”


He continued: “It’s going to take that long before, what I call, the germaphobic economy is slowly killed off and replaced by the claustrophobia economy – that’s when people want to get out and go out to dinner and have their lives, go to festivals and shows.

“It’s my instinct, that’s going to take a while because super-spreader events – sports, shows, festivals…aren’t going to do too well when the virus is this present.”

Lollapalooza in Chicago
Lollapalooza in Chicago – Credit: Getty

Geiger went on to say that there are “probably 20” hurdles that live music still needs to overcome before it can return including “spacing and density” and “infinite liability” that organisers face with insurers.

He warned: “the next six months may be more painful than the last six months, and maybe the next six months after that are even more so.”


Geiger’s predictions come as music venues in Hull and Manchester announced their indefinite closures yesterday (July 16) following the impact of the coronavirus.

In Hull, The Welly and The Polar Bear music venues announced their closure, along with ticketing outlet, Hull Box Office. Soon after, Manchester’s Gorilla and the Deaf Institute also announced their closure.

Earlier this month, the government stepped in with a cash injection to help the arts, culture and heritage industries “weather the impact of coronavirus” – providing music venues, independent cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and heritage sites with emergency grants and loans.

It followed extensive campaigning from more than 1,500 artists and industry figures who came together to call on the government to stop “catastrophic damage” to live music as part of the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign.

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