Possibly no other industries have been as overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic as those that enhance and entertain us, from culture and the arts to athletics andNew York entertainment. Theaters are still closed, museums are collecting dust, the movie theaters are going bankrupt. If your beloved sports team is playing at all, it is in a weirdly empty stadium with the effect that the game no longer offers us an exhilarating escape from the world but reminds us of its disaster.
The cliché of the hungry artist has gained a new meaning, as hundreds of thousands of starving artists in these industries are either out of work or waiting for work. Then there are the ripple effects: Boarded up attractions make the recovery of tourism even less likely; children no longer learn about art, music, literature, and history firsthand; few of us are getting the creative inputs and disturbances that make life both richer and more fun.
To aid you in making sense of an industry marked by ambiguity about the future like few others, we weigh in with our predictions of the future of New York Entertainment.
Without embellishment, the effect of COVID-19 on the performing arts has been demoralizing. The pandemic attacks at the heart of why orchestras exist: to bring individuals together and build community through the power and emotion of live music. For many, that loss is an existential experience.
Will the performing arts look altered going forward? You bet. When they do reopen, it will be with socially distanced seating. There will be testing protocols to keep our audience, musicians, and staff safer. We will alter and reimagine, yet again, how and what we do.
New forms of digital experience will not substitute for the live concert, with its instinctive, emotional power to connect us. You are not alone in longing for the day when we can all sit in that concert hall again, surrounded by others who share a love of music.
The coronavirus has killed every division of the Hollywood business model, and no ventilator will ever resuscitate it. That model was already under siege before 2020’s tragedy, which only fast-tracked the changes let loose by streaming services more than a decade ago.
The most noticeable victims of the virus are movie theaters, which have been permanently shattered. They are designed to bring individuals into close proximity for a united experience. They cannot survive years of little to no business; if they have any future at all, it will be as a restructured, theme-park-like experience relished at high prices once a year, transferring them to an exotic corner of the entertainment business. The virus just hurried this transformation: Streaming films at home has been displacing theaters for a while now, and this change was coming, COVID or not.
Other industries must keep an intense eye on how the New York entertainment industry solves the pandemic problems. The industry has a fine ideology “the show must go on “and from it will arise some of the most fascinating technology use cases and business insights that could help shape other industries in the future.