Due to COVID-19, the concert industry has had to shift the way they present music. On the Point Loma Nazarene University campus, there are many students who have been affected by this shift. One of these students, Megan Lange, a junior nursing student, has a deep passion for music and concerts.
Lange said she attended concerts frequently before the pandemic; in fact, she fell in love with the process of general admission concerts. When unpacking the process, Lange explained that getting into these venues took a lot of effort, spending the whole day waiting. Lange also said they would sometimes skip school in order to see the bands playing. Spending her days in line outside these venues were full of happy memories for Lange, she would often play card games with friends along with getting to know the other fans waiting in line.
“The crowd determines how the concert will be,” Lange said.
This was evident at the last concert Lange attended, when she went to see The Growlers. “That concert was one of my first concerts with diverse age groups,” Lange said.
Another concert lover, Nia Aguinaldo, a third year media communications major at PLNU, attended many concerts between 2017 and 2019 up until the pandemic cancelled everything.
“I loved going, it’s just fun to scream and sing with the crowd,” Aguinaldo said, “I think going to concerts, whether it be intimate like House of Blues or even something bigger like an arena, you still get that same high with the people that are there.”
As much as Lange loves to attend and engage in concerts, she says she does not plan on attending concerts in the near future and has not attended one since March of 2020. Lange said that, “once the effect of COVID-19 is seen to be better in the hospitals” she would consider going out in big groups again. However, that might be a couple years, she said.
“If I didn’t have covid anxiety, and I didn’t see the things I have in the hospitals I would be going to these concerts – especially Harry [Styles]’s concert.” Lange said.
Aguinaldo, having not been to a concert in a while, is a bit nervous to re-enter that world. “I’m seeing Harry [Styles] in November and I am also seeing BTS in December, so I’m looking forward to those shows. I am also nervous about going.”
Styles’s concert this November is to be held in the Pachenga Arena, one of the more enclosed concert spaces in San Diego. Although the staff will be requiring masks and vaccines or negative COVID-19 tests, she and many others experience COVID-19 anxiety.
Sori Shin, a junior business management and music major at PLNU, didn’t regularly attend pre-pandemic concerts, however occasionally she would attend really popular events.
Shin found it easy to connect with new people through their common interest in whatever artist she was going to see.
“For more than a year I have been avoiding concerts, but it is slowly opening back up,” Shin said.
Up until recently, most concerts were moved online if not rescheduled altogether. This unexpected at home experience disappointed many fans. However it opened up a new kind of comfortability for individuals unable to attend in person concerts.
“Live streams, for most of us, might seem like a downgrade, but some people might prefer the online feature,” Shin said.
Different people still want to experience their favorite artists in an intimate and live setting, but whether it’s due to a physical or mental disability, they might be more comfortable with virtual options. Although as expected, there was a level of disappointment with online concerts.
“For me, if I had a concert in the future and it got moved online I would be disappointed,” Aguinaldo said, also mentioning that she anticipated in person concerts to be very popular from now on.
“I think concerts will definitely be a big thing these next few years, due to the livestreaming that had to happen over the last year. The demand of inperson concerts will be through the roof,” Shin said.
By: Hannah Jensen