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“I’ve got a number of bullish agents presenting some challenges for September, which is probably far too early for touring bands,” said Mo Tarmohamed at the Rickshaw Theatre. “It’s pure conjecture at this stage and, I feel, that the greater likelihood is pushing the fall 2021 shows to early spring 2022. At the moment, my April is looking insane, because everyone seems to have determined that is when we will be open at full-capacity again.”

Without full capacity, there is no chance of the mid-level international acts that are the lifeblood of venues ranging from the Vogue and Queen Elizabeth to the Rickshaw and Commodore Ballroom going on tour. Zach McCulloch of Timbre Presents notes that being able to sell-out a smaller room at full-capacity and tie-in touring with higher-paying major festival appearances is the only reasonable formula for hitting the road for acts not at The Weeknd’s superstar level.

“We’ve got King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who sell-out, scheduled in the fall,” said McCulloch. “But that is routed around a play at the Desert Days festival in California and another one in Mexico before a bunch of dates up the West Coast on the way to Vancouver, so I think that date is likely to get shuffled.

“But the problem there is that all these tours are getting shuffled at the same time as new tours are coming on-board.”

Another factor is that most tours hinge on the major festival such as Coachella, Glastonbury or Osheaga happening in the summer. With the traditional touring model paused until further notice, managers, agents, promoters, presenters, venues and artists are all looking to ticketed livestream events until the outlook moving forward becomes clearer.


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