by Kaitlin Hartley
Live music is finally coming back to Toronto after the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. All over the city, venues have been booked for long-awaited live performances.
It has been a frustrating couple of years for Canadian fans as concerts have been cancelled, rescheduled over and over, and postponed, including Billie Eilish, to the horror of her many fans.
Despite the cancellations and rescheduling, fans are excited to finally see their favourite bands perform again, even if life changed for them while they waited. Sandra Rahmoun purchased her Russ tickets for a show in May 2020 but the show was cancelled because of the pandemic. She says, “It’s rescheduled for May 2022 now! I’ll be eight months pregnant but still planning on going!”
Fans have been waiting for, in some cases, years to see their favourite artists perform.
Joshua Richard says, “After buying tickets to Everafter and Veld three years ago, kept my tickets and now going this summer. Can’t wait!”
Drake and Live Nation’s new concert venue’s grand opening was put on a long hold before they could have their grand opening. Once the restrictions in Ontario were lifted, History was able to open its doors and this summer they will be hosting artists such as Mother Mother, Pup, Kaleo, Bastille, and USS.
Some venues will continue to have health checks before fans can get through the doors and this is the case for tonight’s Justin Bieber concert at Scotiabank Arena. If you didn’t get your tickets in time for Bieber’s concert tonight, don’t worry, he’ll be back in June.
At this time, it’s unclear what precautions venues will take to ensure safety against COVID-19 if any. At this time, all restrictions for capacity are lifted.
While some simply got a refund for their missed concerts and shows, some held onto the hope that live music will return and kept their tickets. Innisfil resident Melissa Vanderburg says,
“We bought [Pearl Jam] tickets in 2020. The concert was cancelled, they kept our money with the promise of a concert eventually. September we go!”
Vance Joy will be at the Budweiser Stage on June 9, and The Lumineers are performing with folk band CAAMP also at the Budweiser stage on June 12. The Beaches will be at the FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton, with guests The Blue Stones on May 12 while Journey will be rocking at the Scotiabank Arena on May 13.
Canadian artists are also making some tour stops in Toronto. Punk-Rockstar Avril Lavigne will be at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in May, and Jann Arden will be at Massey Hall for the May 24 weekend, followed by a stop in Hamilton on May 30.
Country music fans are also in luck as Miranda Lambert with Big Little Town, and Zac Brown Band will be performing at the Budweiser Stage in early June. Boots and Hearts is back after years of cancellation in August with Shania Twain and Florida Georgia Line as the headliners.
This summer will be full of live music, performances and fun for people of the Greater Toronto Area – so long as a pandemic doesn’t shut the city down, again.