Trance and music industry after Covid19 – what to expect?
Written by Katrina Merca on July 27, 2020
In the beginning of the year not many could predict a virus, which changed everyone’s lives in such short time, even if its influence was not direct to everyone. There are many topics to be talked about considering Corona virus, but as music and TranceFamily fans we are mostly concerned about things we are missing – travelling for the festival, making new TranceFamily friends, full day and night raves, meeting DJs and producers, and simply enjoying that atmosphere of musical unity. So what’s now? Let’s try to discuss the situation and possible future of music industry.
The beginning of pandemic – hopes and reality
We all probably remember the beginning of Corona virus – all the small talks about China, thinking – “Oh, it won’t get to us, it’s nothing special or dangerous, no need to worry too much”, but 1-2 months later situation started to change rapidly, as the virus continued to expand over the world, and having its peak in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain. As the travel restrictions were made by many countries, it was impossible to travel in a usual way or to raves and festivals. So probably all music promoters, DJs and their managements were left without work, with a hope that it would end in few months and the festival season could continue in summer as usual. But, as we all know, situation didn’t get better so quickly, so due to many precautions, almost all summer festivals were cancelled or postponed first to the autumn, later or to the next year. Music fans could hope only for online sets and streaming on Facebook, Twitch and other platforms, but we all know – it can’t be compared to real life experience during festivals.
So what could people working in music industry do now for living? For producers and DJs it was a bit easier – keeping producing and streaming for donations, doing online teaching classes. Some of the artists were asking openly for simple donations, but not only for them – but also for people they work with, managers, assistants, promoters, who were totally left without their usual income and who were probably forced to find another job during this difficult time. Some artists, for example, Solarstone, were not afraid to be open about their situation (not only financial), while opening a PayPal donation accounts. Of course, such actions weren’t always accepted. Some people criticized all this “donation thing”, because “they get so much money from the gigs”, “couldn’t they just save more for themselves and their people?”, but – how many of you didn’t have financial struggles during this time, even if you still have your job? Most of the DJs, especially in Trance music, are the same as us, so it would be unfair to consider them as rich people, because many of them are not and do the music because of their love for it. Another artists – John 00 Fleming – shared his experience during this time, so some main quote from it would be (even though we suggest you to read the full post):
Maybe yes as you look through the window of the top tiers Instagram windows, but the majority live modest lives and work extremely hard from month to month to support their families, pay mortgages and bills etc. Often it can be very stressful not knowing from where or when the next pay check will come in, with Spotify paying each artist $0.0084 per stream its no long possible to make a living from making music alone, so they rely on touring as main source of income and this is very inconsistent for many.
I feel I have to try and survive these times for you guys, the amazing fans who have carried me through the last 4 months, purchased my music and followed me for all these years
Another thing – merchandise. You have probably noticed that many online shops were updated. Transmission, Armada, Anjunabeats, Luminosity, Future Sound of Egypt, Pure Trance and many more – you can find much bigger variety of merchandise than it was available before, even with items which could be bought only many years ago or during specific events, or even sold out items. And almost every shop presented face masks, which can still be useful in the future. So, if you ever wanted to get something from official merchandise, now is your best option, as you can support someone this way, doesn’t matter if it’s an artist, label, promoter or event organizer.
What’s happening now
Even if the situation is better in Europe, where Trance music industry is more popular, overall in the world pandemic is still expanding. Many of people are used to staying more at home and enjoying online parties instead of real ones, but at the same time many music addicts and real TranceFamily fans can’t wait to travel to their first rave after such a long break. You can see more online activity – on all social platforms, groups, communities, where people are sharing their experience of surviving this unusual situation of being “limited”. DJs and festivals are keeping on streaming different sets by many artists, but this thing is not that much popular anymore than it was in the beginning, when music fans had no other options.
Now travel restrictions are lifted in many countries, and people, who missed travelling, are able to do it again. At the same time, in some countries you can find news about first music events already happening. Of course, due to safety precautions, an amount of people is limited, but it is still better than no event at all. For example, Czechia, where club Epic had their first En-Trance event on July 18 since the beginning of pandemic. As Super8 & Tab, main artist of the night commented – “Yesterdays gig was the first one in 4 months and it was all goosebumps thru the night. Good times!” – it shows that not only music fans, but also artists have been missing the events. Of course, there were precautions during the night – entry only with respiratory protection, which is not mandatory only during drinks, and keeping distance 2 m from each other. Not the club experience we are used to, right? Also Beats for Love is already organizing limited festivals in Ostrava, same as Euforia Festival 2020 is about to happen in Poland in August. Such organizers are taking a huge risk to make things happen, as situation and decisions of every country can change very rapidly about event restrictions, that is why many decided not to postpone event for few months, but to move it to the next year as a much safer option.
If you can’t live anymore without raves and festivals, here is the list of some which are not cancelled yet:
- Neelix / Liquid Soul / John Askew / Orkidea – Voyage Into Trance (Finland)
- Summer Sound Festival 2020 – The Realm Of Secrets (Finland)
- AWAKE Croatia 2020 (Croatia)
- Euforia Festival 2020 (Poland)
- Transmission Prague 2020 (Czechia)
- Symbols Club Nights: Phil’s and Danny’s 40th Birthday Party in Halle, September 19 (Germany)
- SHINE Berlin with Paul van Dyk, Aly & Fila and more (Germany)
- Ear-Gasmic “Boat Edition” with Nifra (5-hour cruise) (Slovakia)
- SYNERGY at Alte Kaserne w/ Menno de Jong, Tempo Giusto & more! (Switzerland)
- Helden der Zukunft with Alex Morph (Germany)
- Helden der ’90er with Woody van Eyden (Germany)
What can we expect in the future?
First of all – events WILL BE back for sure, only question – when and how? Here are some of our possible predictions how it could be:
- Using face masks and keeping distance from each other will be necessary at least for next few months, until virus will get at its lowest point.
- Limited capacity, which can lead to higher ticket prices or smaller DJ line-ups.
- Less international crowd – some won’t risk travelling far for a music event and possible stay at quarantine.
- More smaller festivals instead of big ones.
- Some DJs won’t restart or will limit their touring.
- Some people will quit raving due to financial reasons or other priorities.
More info about predictions for overall music industry you can also find in this article from okayplayer.com.
Many of us are probably asking – when will be back good old times? The most possible answer is – when official vaccines will be accepted and available for everyone, which hopefully will be possible in the end of this year. At the same time, we can assume that not everyone will accept this vaccine, so it will take a while for Corona virus to disappear. Even if it does, promoters and organizers will need time to start again, looking for new sponsors and trying to attract the crowd, which has changed already. Everyone will need a time to be sure that it’s safe to travel, that they risk nothing and that its worth it.
If we talk about bigger events, here are the assumptions about the upcoming ones:
- ABGT 400 – probably only a streaming event.
- ADE 2020 – big festivals will probably be cancelled, meetings of small capacity possible (up to 100 people), ADE Conference in online-first format.
- Transmission Prague 2020 – for now NOT cancelled, but there is a huge possibility that it could be.
- A State Of Trance 1000 – chance of happening as usual in Jaarbeurs is low, probably will also be a streaming event only.
- Luminosity events – possible small events with limited capacity and restrictions.
- Untold Festival – online only on exclusive YouTube stream.
So what should Trance music fans do now? We must enjoy what we have and understand that it’s hard for everyone, especially for the ones who work in this music industry. If you want to help, watch streamings, buy official music from Beatport, support artists, donate, buy merchandise, if you have a chance, attend nearby events, even if they are local and small. If there are more events coming, don’t be afraid to buy tickets for a higher price, as you must understand why the price had to be raised. You should probably start saving money for the next year events, so you can go to more of them, to compensate this year. Next few years will be hard, but hopefully soon enough we will be able to enjoy music and festivals even at the better level.