All over the world, people tune in to see the ball drop in New York City each year. It looks like 2021 won’t be any different, as the annual Times Square event is set to carry on in spite of recent surges of COVID cases. The organizers are expected to take precautions by reducing crowd size and mandating mask and vaccination requirements for attendants.
The Omicron variant has recently been on the rise. Cases peaked on Christmas Eve with 44,758 recorded contractions. While the Omicron is more vaccine elusive, it is also more mild. Hospitals are far from being overwhelmed, and fewer and fewer patients need to be put on ventilators.
The event will have in-person crowds as well as live performances by LL Cool J, Journey, and KT Tunstall. It is scheduled to begin at 6PM ET, with crowds forming around 3PM. Viewing areas will admit fewer attendees to allow for social distancing, however no precise numbers have been released yet.
This is a positive sign for crowd-based entertainment, and could mean good things for the music world. Many major acts are preparing for their 2022 tours. Large festivals across North America are selling out quickly. The world just might be ready to reopen now that the virus is weakening in important ways.
Are we over the final hump? Time will tell. But we can certainly hope. Stay warm everybody.