As Mask Wearing Dwindles, Touring Musicians Left to Fend for Themselves

 Some independent artists are weighing health concerns and financial risks against their aspirations to make a living from their craft.

If a musician gets COVID on the road, not only would they and their crew lose income from canceled gigs, but they’d also be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses like rescheduled flights and hotels in which to quarantine while far from home. And that’s after two years without touring, the primary way most independent musicians make a living.

This year, Coachella did away with masking, vaccine checks and PCR tests, a move that prompted outcry among public health experts. And Kowal says that many contracts from talent agencies now come with clauses that make promoters financially liable for canceling shows out of safety concerns if there’s no government mandate to do so. That’s even if there’s a new virus outbreak.

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Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

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