Would you wear a mask if it meant gigs could return?

Before you just say ‘no, I don’t want to wear a mask’ no one does if they can help it but we’re living in a pandemic with an exponential rise in cases that are currently on par with November last year (and from what I can fell mainly coming from schools, which is why hospitalisation rates are perhaps lower than with the Kent variant).

Before you say ‘no, I’m happy to take the risk’ remember that a mask stops you spreading the virus much more than it helps prevent you catching it.

I’ve done a little Twitter thread with more thoughts and engaged with some people who quickly descended into calling me a “mask shagger”

I’d be wary even going to a gig wearing a mask with things as they are

feels like we need to get things a bit more under control w/r/t variants/boosters, etc

idk really

even if wearing a mask was enough, it’d be pretty suffocating in most gigs, no?


I probably won’t mask up at the outdoor gig I’m going to in September, especially as I’ll be fully jabbed by then, but I’m not sure about indoors yet mask or no mask

I don’t know. Quite clearly it should be masks on probably for the foreseeable I still have late 2023 in my mind from an article I saw at the turn of the year but, at the same time 2 ish hours in a mask has the words “fuck that” bouncing round my head. Which if even a few people think the same probably means venues, artists etc. Are knackered.

Also massive LOL at “mask shagger” fucking idiots.

I sort of feel like I would attend a gig if most people were wearing masks (understandably not everyone can) than I would if no one was wearing a mask or distancing. That just seems dangerous. And even if I might not die with Covid after 2 jabs, there’s still a high chance I could be very sick.

What about on public transport to and from the gig, and in toilets and busy areas? I feel like if we’re indoors or moving around, masks are sensible to wear to protect others.

Yeah I’ll still wear one if I go indoors to the loo but I’ll be driving to the gig and as a short person I usually stand apart from crowds so I can see anyway


I guess my feeling is that if masks are needed then I might not feel like it’s a safe environment to be in for several hours. My next indoor gig is supposed to be in late September so I guess I’ll see how I feel by then but with things as there are right now I’d prefer to stay away until the rates look less dicey.

Although I think it’s also partly the fear of getting pinged by the app again and told to self-isolate and having to cancel plans for the next 10 days, so if they took that requirement away I might feel better about going somewhere I could potentially come into contact with a positive case.


yeah, I’m pretty wary about that too. a friend of mine who’s had both his jabs got COVID last week.

I’d not been paying lots of attention to it because keeping on top of news had been making my already terrible mh even worse, and I was a bit taken aback.

like, I thought there would only be the tiniest risk with two jabs

anyway… I feel like maybe spaced and seated gigs with masks could be a good compromise for now?

obvs gonna be odd for non-sitting down music, but everyone’s just gonna have to adapt for now

I went to a sit down distanced gig and wore a mask and it was fine for me cause it was cold and I wasn’t near anyone.

Wouldn’t go to a stand up gig smooshed into people at the moment. Wouldn’t do it with a mask on and wouldn’t do it with no masks


The alcohol aspect complicates things. The money you pay for the ticket goes to the band and the promoter. A small % might go to the venue, but they rely massively on bar sales to make money. If masks are mandatory then you are basically saying the venue can’t open the bar. If you say people don’t have the wear a mask if they are drinking, that’s the majority of the audience.

If gigs are allowed to return but wearing masks is mandatory, the Govt need to make sure financial support to venues continues, and that won’t happen.


In principle the answer to the question if it’s literally the solution is “yeah, of course” but there’s loads of reasons it’s not practical or realistic


My suggestion would be that if a venue is not well ventilated and seated, then drinking should probably take place somewhere else.

For somewhere like the Dublin Castle that has a poorly ventilated back room, but open windows ans doors in the pub section that makes sense.

For somewhere like Barrowlands that’s probably going to mean closing the street outside.

Basically making smoking areas for drinking during the show.

Totally understand why venues wouldn’t want this bit also can understand if you’re vulnerable artist or member of staff in the venue you couldn’t wouldn’t be in a rush to go take that risk.

Glad to hear you’re ok. I saw someone say they went to a gig and her and all 7 friends have tested positive which doesn’t bode well for the safe return of live music.

covid isn’t getting eradicated so the choice is live music comes back and people can make their own decisions or no more live music ever - take your pick


Did you see Andrew Marr who has had 2 jabs caught it at the G7?

The comms around being totally safe hasn’t been there.

A DJ friend was stunned to catch it after her first jab - she was wiped out for a week.

Another guy in his 30s who had first jab ended up in the ICU for a few weeks after catching it - he’s pretty healthy so goes to show how important that second jab is.

Anyway, I’m glad to see my cautiousness is shared by many of you so far. I’ve spoken to a few musicians and they’re more feeling comfortable about performing in the autumn following the mask news earlier.

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How informed do you feel your decision and understanding of the risks are?

I’m very much looking for some science to back up my assumptions or allay my fears. Right now I don’t feel like I can’t make an informed choice.

Here’s a suggestion;

this seemed like it was a pretty pro operation. one of the major venues that only do sit down stuff anyway.

  • person on the door to greet and check in.
  • table service on drinks in the foyer (no drinks apart from bottled water once you go in
  • person to take you to your zone and seat you.
  • second check in on the door to the stage.
  • third check in on your seat
  • distanced seats
  • person to take you from the seat to the exit. no hanging around or mixing.

i wouldn’t imagine many venues would be able to put in those kind of systems.

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I don’t think a drinking area would work. People are not going to pop out for 5 minutes during a song they don’t like for a (very) quick pint.

If you don’t drink during gigs then I see absolutely no reason not to continue to wear a mask. But for a lot of people (rightly or wrongly) the gig experience is watching a band with a pint in your hand and having 2 / 3 / 4 pints during the headline set. Those punters are crucial for venues.


If people do go to shows with or without masks then beware the toilets :mask: