Impresario Peter Shapiro Sees Rapid Testing As Key To Live Music’s Return

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Famed promoter Peter Shapiro recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the uncertain future of live music events in the midst of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Shapiro highlighted rapid testing as the key to bring back live concerts.

Shapiro co-owns the Brooklyn Bowl franchises and purchased the legendary (now closed) New York venue the Wetlands in 1996. He also runs the LOCKN’ Festival and is the man behind the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts. For Shapiro, a speedy test is crucial to getting people and artists back into venues across the country. “That’s the key,” he told RS. “You take a test to come in.” He also had some ideas as to the logistics of testing every single person before they enter.

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“At Brooklyn Bowl we open at 6 p.m. now — we push it up to 5 p.m., so the line won’t be crazy,” he explained. “You go in early, and you can have a meal.” Shapiro also believes that this model could be scaled up to larger events like festivals, specifically LOCKN’, which hasn’t been canceled, but rather, moved from June to October. “I’m not giving that up yet,” he said.

“Do I think we could administer [a test] to people who come for a three- or four-day festival? Yeah, I do,” Shapiro continued. “You might have to wait several hours. Once you’re in, you might have a mask on inside. We may do reduced capacity, more camping areas. We’re going to figure out all those different kinds of things.”

Head here to read the entire Rolling Stone feature.

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