In person concerts attract staff and students despite risks

Julia Garms

More stories from Julia Garms


Pitbull is on stage screaming to the crowd as he brings his exciting performance to Merriweather Post Pavillion. Students in attendance weighed the risks associated with Covid exposure with the reward of attending a live show.

Your feet feel tight in your shoes, with your legs aching and your heart beating 1,000 miles a minute. Lights are flashing and music is pounding all while bulldozing into a sea of people. Did you forget this euphoric feeling? Did it feel normal?

Due to Covid-19’s shutdown of live music events, ticket sales are skyrocketing at the return of your favorite artists. Concerts require people to be in close proximity to one another, potentially making these superspreader events.

The CDC says 15 minutes of unmasked exposure with a Covid positive individual will likely leave you infected with the virus; however, some 20,000 Pitbull fans disregarded this advisory. September 2 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Event-goers were advised to show vaccination records and identification to be able to enter the outdoor venue. Yet, senior Yoni Leibstein was one who was admitted in the concert without the correct requirements.

“I didn’t have my vaccination card. I forgot it and I couldn’t get a picture of it so my dad sent me a picture of my brother’s and I used his; they let me in,” Leibstein said.

Questions have been raised regarding the amount of fans who entered the venue without being put through correct safety protocol, as well as how many vaccination cards were forged.

Psychology teacher Melanie Schwed attended the Hella Mega Tour at Nationals stadium in August. This outdoor event showcased a lineup including Fall Out Boy, Greenday and Weezer. Vaccinations were not required; however unlike Pitbull, this event was less crowded leaving more room for people to breathe.

“With it being outside I felt safe… it was really nice to see live music again,” Schwed said.

As the weather starts to change, outdoor events will no longer be feasible causing a disturbance in how to stay Covid safe.

“Concerts that are indoors I think the risk is very high and there is a possibility that in-person concerts will be put on hold again,” sophomore Natalya Krouse said.

In certain cases whether you’re vaccinated or not, indoors or outdoors, masked or not masked, you can still receive and transmit this virus. Junior Maayan Chashper attended the outdoor Made in America music festival occurring in early September in Philadelphia. Vaccination cards or negative tests were required for entry, yet Chasper (who is vaccinated and wore a mask) was infected with Covid-19. She is currently in the 10 day quarantine period that the CDC requires after testing positive. Even though she ended up getting the virus, she is still happy with her decision to go to the festival.

“I do not regret going to the festival because it was a great experience,” Chasper said.

The world is finally bouncing back into some normalcy and WJ students and teachers are stepping back into their pre-covid routines. Singing and screaming in a crowded mosh pit excretes droplets of the virus into the air, making space your best friend. Concerts may not be the safest place to be during a pandemic, but many WJ students and staff members are finding them worth the risk.