Concerts may be canceled for the rest of the year, hurting the Nashville economy

CMA Fest Continues With Free Concerts
Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 16, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Will the show still go on? That's the uncertain future hanging over the concert industry during this pandemic. Many artists have postponed shows until the Fall, but health experts are now suggesting the stages may have to stay empty until next year.

Usually, Kyle Bates is away more than he's at home. Now he's at home, watching his wallet waste away. "All of May got canceled, and then slowly I’m seeing more and more festivals start to close," said Bates.

Most recently, Kyle was the video director for the band Dan + Shay, but with concerts canceled for the foreseeable future, he's filed for unemployment. "You take touring and concerts and sporting events and stuff away from us, all of us that do this, there’s no jobs and there are no job prospects either. So a field that already doesn’t have job security, there are no job prospects either," said Bates.

But if concerts end up being canceled for the rest of the year, it won't just spell the end of live events in Music City, it may also force some companies to go out of business.

Patrick Eaton works for Fuse Technological Group. You may not know their name but you've seen their work. "So the big screens you see, the big lights you see hanging in the air at a show, all that stuff’s brought in," said Eaton. Fuse furnishes a lot of the gear required to put the show on the road.

"All that stacks up pretty quickly when you’re not generating any revenue," said Eaton.

Fuse is one of several vendors companies that have struggled since the day the music died. He's worried some companies in the concert industry will meet the same fate. "Potential chapter 11 filings for people, I think there’s going to be mergers acquisitions and consolidations within the industry which ultimately never seems to be great," said Eaton.

Patrick doesn't see that changing anytime soon. "The more we talk about this stuff without a meaningful vaccine or without a really large scale rapid deployment testing, I don’t see how it’s even a possibility at this point this year," said Eaton.

Kyle is still hopeful he'll get back to his home away from home. "I think they’ll figure out something whether it’s limiting ticket sales or checking temperatures or doing something," said Bates.

If you'd like to help those struggling in the concert production business you can donate at one of the following links: