The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon a new challenge to the live music scene as concerts have been indefinitely put on hold — and at the rate the Philippines is dealing with the crisis, it’s uncertain when things would go back to normal.
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For the past five months alone, local concert producers have seen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the concert scene following the postponement and cancellation of several local and foreign shows in the country due to the prohibition of mass gatherings — in hopes to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
Local concert producer Joed Serrano, who has mounted a number of local and foreign shows in the past including that of Celine Dion with Ovation Productions, Jonas Brothers, Josh Groban as well as Vice Ganda’s first and second concerts, shared his sentiments over the situation which he described a crucial time to earn money.
He said: “The whole world is suffering and is badly affected by this virus. Rich or poor people, no exemptions. We all need to be careful. This 2020 is not the year to earn money. All of us need to stay safe and alive. You’re the luckiest person if you surpass this pandemic.”
The former That’s Entertainment star also revealed that he was supposed to bring in a number of international acts this year — among them being The Jacksons, Alanis Morissette, and Swing Out Sisters. He also said that he was going to produce films this year had the COVID-19 pandemic did not occur.
“The Jacksons, Alanis Morissette, and Swing Out Sisters with Ovation Productions and more concerts lined up and movies sana for 2020 but due to this COVID-19, all will be rescheduled and postponed,” he stated.
Serrano, on the other hand, acknowledged the fact that producers aren’t the only ones directly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, but also those working in successfully staging these live music shows behind-the-scenes including the crew and staff, among others.
“Malaki epekto nito sa concert and movie industry ‘cause andaming trabaho ang mawawala at maaapektuhan. Madami magugutom. From the venue owners hanggang sa crew at staff apektado. Napakarami.”
With concerts requiring physical presence to enjoy the full live experience of singing and dancing along to performances of one’s favorite artists, concerts will never be the same again — at least for the time being. Then again, Serrano remains positive that there will be a solution before the year ends considering that he, alongside his fellow producers in the industry, are eyeing either the end of the year or the first quarter of 2021 to stage these shows.
“Of course we all have to be positive na matatapos ito at magkakaron ng gamot at solusyon. All will be well in due time. Lahat postponed at rescheduled na sa latter part of this year until early part of next year. We just need to pray. ‘Yan lang talaga ang need. Answer to all our worries and questions. As I’ve said, as of today, the only thing we need is just to survive and be safe from the virus,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Serrano said he remains optimistic that the crisis will soon be over, saying coordination with guidelines to stay safe as well keeping the faith are among the key answers to find ways to go back to normal.
“Definitely, all of us will miss all concerts, movies, and other big events. Babalik ito lahat in God's perfect time. Our participation is to cooperate to stay safe and change our usual doings into new normal ika nga. Prayers is the only key and answer to all of these. Hope and pray then we will all be okay,” he said.
While Metro Manila has already shifted to modified from enhanced community quarantine, health experts still prohibit the conduct of mass gatherings as of writing.