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Baby Steps

George Petersen • August 2020Editor's Note • August 6, 2020

This pandemic thing is here for the long haul, but you already knew that. There are, however, a few bright spots, such as last month’s return of packed arena shows in New Zealand (details on page 8), a country that, through diligence and closed borders, reduced its Covid-19 caseload to zero. And lately, a lot of tradeshows have gone virtual, but before we went to press, the World Health Organization rated the overall Covid-19 transmission risk as “low” for the February 2021 ISE show in Barcelona, and that event is slated to go on as usual.

A year ago, if we told you the biggest excitement in the live industry would be people attending drive-in shows in their cars, you would have written us off as crazy. However, that vintage 1950’s vibe of the drive-in is back — in a big way. If you’re watching a movie at one of the 160 Walmart parking lots offering evening movies or checking out the plethora of simulcast/tape delayed live concerts coming to makeshift drive-in setups, you can enjoy a great evening of entertainment. Yet listening to a low-power FM broadcast through car speakers loses the fury and punch of a concert P.A.

Our Production Profile feature on page 12 looks at some alternative drive-in shows, featuring actual performers on stage and enough P.A. to rock the house. It’s hardly the same as a packed festival experience, but for fans — and crews — anxious to get out of the house, this is a welcome step towards normalcy. And that’s a good thing.

This month, we’d like to thank artist Andy Au for his awesome illustrations over the years, and we also thank John Sauer, who steps into the position. Welcome aboard!

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