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Going for a song: how will live music survive in an uncertain future?

The last year has saw the live events industry squeezed within an inch of its life. With live performances canceled, artists have been left relying on online sources of income, and venues around the world are dangling on the precipice of extinction. As the Covid-19 pandemic rolls on, what might the future of live events look like? And what role might brands play in the survival of one of the world's most life-affirming industries?

2,500 rock fans, a cavernous stage littered with amplifiers and guitar leads, and a local lad playing a hometown gig. You could have been forgiven for thinking in August that the pandemic had passed Newcastle, England’s Gosforth Park by entirely. But this was no normal concert. Each of the fans who’d rocked up to see Sam Fender play to sell-out crowds stood fenced within socially distanced steel corrals spaced evenly throughout a festival ground.