Concertgoers Mostly Happy to Return to Venues

Just as we saw at the beginning of the summer with travelers, concertgoers are itching to see their favorite artists perform live. However, with the rising number of COVID cases worldwide, governments and businesses are eyeing proof of vaccination to keep business running without imposing fresh lockdowns.

Restaurants, bars, and event venues are increasingly asking for proof of vaccination or a negative test result to reduce the spread of the virus. Of course, the movement has its detractors, but many feel it’s the best balance to be found between public safety and a functioning entertainment sector.

Social listening reveals how users feel about vaccination requirements to attend concerts – and the top emotion currently is happiness. For those without an issue getting the vaccine, it’s a relief just to avoid lockdowns again and get out for a night of music.

live events infographic

We’ll look a little deeper into the social conversation there, with a focus on:

  • Live events in light of COVID
  • Why consumer emotions are complicated
  • Event planning as we move forward

Before we get going, here are a few current events showing new developments within the live event industry:

  • Whether federal or local governments issue vaccine mandates or not, many artists and event venues are taking matters into their own hands. AEG Presents, a global live event company, just announced they’ll require all concertgoers and staff to show proof of full vaccination by October 1 at all its US events.
  • Live Nation, another major live event company, just announced a similar policy stating all artists, fans, and Live Nation employees would have to show proof of vaccination to attend events beginning October 4.
  • The Foo Fighters became the latest in a growing list of artists requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend their upcoming shows.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, consumers and industries have endured a series of transitions. Let’s look at where live events stand right now and how consumers feel about it, using social listening.

Live Events in Light of COVID

This time last year, there were no live events to speak of, and the entertainment industry had to make do with online events. Now that vaccines have become widely available and many communities have had a taste of opening back up, proof of vaccination has become a legitimate option to keep commerce rolling.

Obviously, not everyone is happy about it – viewing it as an infringement of sorts. The thing is, whether governments mandate vaccines to participate in public entertainment or not, a growing list of artists and venues are looking to safeguard their reemerging industry with tests and vaccine cards.

Just this past week, Live Nation and AEG Presents, two of the giants in the live event industry, announced vaccine requirements beginning in October to give attendees and staff time to get fully vaccinated. A growing list of major artists, including Phish, Maroon 5, The Foo Fighters, and Dead & Co., are setting their own vaccination stipulations to keep the music going. Festivals are getting in on the trend as well.


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Public opinion on concerts and other live events will be a conversation to watch as time progresses. Social listening will reveal nuance to these discussions regarding consumer perception, changing government regulations, and the efficacy of these measures on public safety.

Consumer Emotions are Complicated

There are so many influences on consumer behavior that they can be challenging to understand on a good day. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has been heavily politicized from the beginning. With so much misinformation going around social channels – along with changing government policies and emerging scientific insights, there’s a lot for consumers to digest.

However, social listening allows us to tune into conversations such as our concert analysis to better understand consumer emotions. As more tours hit the road this summer, live event companies are making new rules as they go along.

As we showed in the above infographic, the top consumer emotion regarding concerts over the last three months has been happiness. Sadness was a distant second place. Anger is the only other negative emotion that shows up near the top of the analysis. From a glance, the distributed emotions these last few months over concerts and vaccination requirements have been very well received.

Without social listening, we may be inclined to believe there would be a lot more anger in this conversation, but that’s simply not the case. Of course, that could change – as we mentioned, consumer emotions can be complicated.

We already know vaccines are a touchy subject to some, while mandates and restrictions send others into a frenzy. To illustrate why it’s critical to use your social listening tools to get to the bottom of consumer emotions, we need to look no further than what’s behind the sadness about concerts.

Your first inclination might be to think people are sad they have to get vaccinated to attend a concert. However, social listening reveals users upset about vaccine requirements are in the minority. Much of the sadness is from fears of not getting a second vaccine in time to attend a scheduled event. Others are expressing dismay at rising cases in their countries that could put live events off indefinitely. And then there are those watching events return in other parts of the world while vaccine access is limited where they live. Their sadness is around jealousy over missing out.

The key takeaway to note here is this: There is often nuance to consumer behavior and perception in every conversation. Social listening allows you to dig deeper and uncover the story beneath, rather than relying on assumptions that can be far from accurate. There will be a lot more to this story as it unfolds – and you can be sure leading venues are watching. Let’s see how you can keep an eye on it with your social listening tools.

Event Planning as We Move Forward

Social media monitoring allows you to track changes over time. As such, it gives you the best window into emerging trends and shifts in consumer sentiment and behaviors.

Remember back at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was talking about the “new normal?” Tiresome as it was, this event planning conversation is a prime example of an industry trying to claw its way back to some semblance of normalcy. Whether it’s ultimately successful or not is left to be seen. Regardless, social listening will help us stay abreast of the conversation as it unfolds.

Tracking changes is the name of the game in catching shifts in consumer behavior, so we need some baseline metrics to see where the conversation stands today. Here are our social listening metrics for one week centered around concerts and vaccine requirements. This gives us a baseline to measure against as we run weekly analyses

summary metrics

Knowing volume in mentions and posts along with sentiment and engagement data gives a great start to tracking the health of this conversation as it moves into the future. Naturally, as new events spur future discussions, we’ll need to know what prompts changes to our metrics.

Since the future hasn’t happened yet, we’ll turn back to our three-month analysis to demonstrate what that looks like. Using historical data, we’ve loaded our analysis into Quid Social to break down the topic by conversational sub-topics and placed it on a timeline. Highlighted in yellow, you can see social media posts mentioning negative COVID tests to get in concerts beginning to emerge towards the end of July. That’s the type of intel you’re looking for.

concert conversations

If you want to keep quick tabs on emerging trends within a social listening analysis, this is how you do it. You can keep it broad as we did here, or you can go in for a deep dive on points of interest.

How this concert discussion turns out will be interesting to watch. It is likely to impact whether vaccine requirements see broader adoption in other leisure activities such as restaurants and sporting events.

Are your social listening efforts capturing the nuance of consumer behavior? Reach out for a demo, and we’ll hook you up with a backstage pass to the voice of the consumer.

2021 brand loyalty report

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