A new survey reveals the anxiety fans are feeling over returning to concerts and other live events after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ends. Many of those surveyed expressed concerns about seeing live music with hundreds or thousands of other people in close proximity in light of the virus' rapid spread.

A survey of 1,000 United States consumers, conducted by sports and events research company Performance Research and Full Circle Research Co., finds that, after the pandemic, one-third of respondents say they'll attend shows at indoor concert venues less often than before. Fifty-six percent of participants, meanwhile, say it will take them between "a few months" and "possibly never" to go to a major indoor concert venue again after they've been declared safe.

Outdoor venues may be less affected by post-pandemic fears, however: Sixty-four percent of respondents said that they would return to an outdoor park or beach right away or within a few weeks after the "all clear" is given, while 56 percent of participants said the same for outdoor sports venues. No data specific to outdoor concert venues is available.

When discussing large public events overall, 44 percent of respondents said they'll attend fewer events than before, while 18 percent said they'd attend more of them. However, 47 percent of those surveyed admitted that going to a big public event "will scare me for a long time."

Fans' concerns about large events aren't just about the people nearby in this case: While 59 percent of those surveyed expressed concern about the crowds they'd be in and their proximity to strangers, 65 percent of respondents shared concerns about the cleanliness of food service areas in the venues, and two-thirds of participants admitted to heightened concerns about the cleanliness of the restrooms and the venues overall.

People are, indeed, missing public events, though: Fifty-three percent of survey participants expressed a "pent-up desire to attend the events I love," and 46 percent said they'll value the experience more than before. The survey was conducted between March 23 and 26 and has a 3 percent margin of error. Participants were also asked about the likelihood that they'll visit movie theaters, indoor sports venues and theme parks, and how often they'll go, after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Fans may have quite some time to come to terms with or overcome their fears about attending large public events, at least if one expert's opinion is correct. Zeke Emanuel, vice provost of global initiatives and the director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, has made headlines recently with his prediction that concerts and other major events won't return until "Fall 2021 at the earliest."

“Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility," Emmanuel cautions. "I think those things will be the last to return."

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