Are we there yet? Even though we may want to, 2020 will be a year that we will not forget. The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled us from our usual routine, and even more, has interrupted any upcoming plans. No one was ready was such disruption, but as a community, we have been forced to adapt to the new world. The electronic music scene is no exception, how we live and experience this art will be changed forever here and across the globe.
Most major festivals are canceled. Most organizers and promoters are grappling with the financial reality and loss, and unfortunately, those losses have trickled down to faithful festival goers. Failure to issue refunds and honor commitments are eroding trust on all fronts. As well, individuals who have lost their employment or sources of revenue due to COVID-19 will have the less disposable income to invest in entertainment. What does this mean for the future of festivals? What is clear is that the future of electronic music is changed forever.
In Canada, festivals including AIM, FEQ and Piknic Électronik have announced that they have canceled or postponed their activities. Across the world, it is also unlikely that any major events will be able to proceed in the near future. The most optimistic projection is likely in 2021; however, not all festivals will survive due to a lack of cash and investments. We will see our own recession.
Yet, this presents a unique opportunity for local or regional musical communities to thrive. There may be little appetite for big events or shows; however, small spaces may allow accommodating to smaller crowds to profile new talent. Creativity will be the key to support and revive our community. Think of the rise of electronic music in the 90`s and early 2000`s when we used to value the music, atmosphere and being surrounded with our friends, instead of moments that we can share on Instagram.
Truth be told, nobody knows how we will come out of this, or if this simply our new normal. Yet, what is obvious is that the electronic music community will have to adapt. What will never change is our collective commitment to the music, the experience and the people who share our passion. Keeping that front and center, let`s commit to supporting our local artists and communities so that electronic music can continue to grow and prosper across the world.
Edited by: Frances LeBlanc