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Listening Live and Counterfactually Hearing

Good but not great. That is what numbers from Morning Consult show about the U.S. public’s interest in going to a concert. Its latest figures (October 21) have it that 54% say they’d be comfortable doing so. Which is certainly an improvement over the 39% who gave it a nod a year ago. And massively better than those who reported on October 25, 2020 that they’d feel comfortable: only 18%.

So while more than half are good going to concerts, in the wider sphere of entertainment options, the number is the lowest among the options:

  • Going to a sporting event: 56%
  • Going to a theater performance: 58%
  • Going to an amusement park: 60%
  • Going to the movies: 63%

Still, it is a reason to give pause when considering that little over half of those surveyed said that they’d be comfortable going to a concert (and one can only assume that “concert” includes things like orchestral performances and nights of easy listening and smooth jazz). The high amusement park number is understandable because it is an outdoor venue. But given that there are only some 300 drive-in movies left in the entire U.S., movies are things that people see indoors. And for every one of the 250 Shakespeare in the Park festivals there is certainly a multiple of indoor theatrical performances: there are 41 Broadway theaters, so if each of them had one show during one week that would be a greater number (287).

Seven baseball stadiums have roofs that may or may not be open. Which means that 23 are open air. Of the 30 NFL stadiums, four have closed roofs, five have retractable roofs and the remaining are open air. The 20 biggest college football stadiums are all open. However, given the closeness of the numbers of those who feel comfort in going to a concert (54%) and to a sporting event (56%), the argument could be made that it is a matter of the yelling, screaming and overall participant engagement that might have the lower numbers compared to the other forms of entertainment.

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