Pod Concerts: The Future of Music Events Post-COVID

As summer heats up and the pandemic begins to subside, America is reopening in the wake of the COVID-19. At last, you may be able to experience something that many have been missing for well over a year — live concerts. Even as more people become vaccinated and large gatherings become safer, staying healthy remains at the forefront of many concertgoers’ minds. Fortunately, there are ways for event organizers to plan music events with both safety and fun in mind. “Pod concerts” are quickly becoming a popular new way to celebrate music while prioritizing public health. 

What Are Pod Concerts? 

Pod concerts are an emerging event format that was inspired by social distancing and safety practices developed during COVID-19. The concept is simple but effective. Pod concerts organize attendees in households or groups — known as pods — placed at a safe distance apart. 

As an event organizer, you can utilize physical barriers, organized seating, or visual markers to separate each pod. With a well-designed pod concert, creative seating and event set up will maximize the number of attendees and elevate their viewing experience. As an organizer, you can use social distancing guidelines, multiple levels of seating, and more to maximize the space of your unique venue. 

How Can Pods Benefit Your Concert? 

Though America is reclaiming a sense of normalcy this summer, many concert-goers may not feel ready to return to live events as they once were. As states and individual venues navigate the new reality of accommodating vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons, pods provide safety and peace of mind for your attendees. With this in mind, here are a few additional benefits pod concerts offer.

Smaller Gatherings with a Large Gathering Feel

The innovative structure of pod concerts allows your attendees to experience the energy of a large gathering in the comfort of their smaller, chosen group. Especially in open-air venues, there’s ample opportunity to follow social distancing guidelines while providing guests with an unforgettable live music experience. 

Pod concert tickets can be sold in small groups that make it easy for attendees to plan for your event. Tickets sold in batches accommodate guests whether they are seeking to attend with a date, small group of friends, or family. 

Improved Opportunity for Social Interaction

Earlier variations of COVID-era events such as drive-in or virtual concerts provided an excellent way for attendees to experience live music while remaining isolated from other attendees. These events offered a safe way for music lovers to enjoy concerts during the height of the pandemic. But there was an important element lacking in these more isolated events: social interaction.

Now that it’s safer to do so, pod concerts enable attendees to maintain social distancing while providing more opportunities for social interaction. For example, you may require masks upon entry, exit, and walking through common areas. Your concert-goers will be able to have a taste of the organic interactions that happen between attendees at a standard concert — and continue to adhere to public safety guidelines. 

Easy Merchandise and Food Management

COVID-19 forced event planners to get more creative than ever with generating additional event revenue beyond ticket sales. As events return to more recognizable formats, the ideas born during the pandemic can continue to help you boost sales during your live music events. 

With attendees planning their concert experience around a group, there are many opportunities to encourage your guests to purchase add-ons for their pod. Here are a few to consider.

Pre-Ordered Merchandise

For many avid music fans, an important part of the concert-going experience is walking away with memorabilia. In the pod concert format, it’s easy to offer both pre-ordered merchandise or contactless pickup. Options for seamless merchandise sales include:

  • Online pre-orders that are placed in the pods before the event
  • Pre-orders that can be picked up on the day of the event
  • Pre-orders that are delivered to the attendee before the concert
  • Merchandise that can be purchased with a contactless app at the event

By utilizing pre-order and contactless purchase options, you will make it easier to minimize lines and crowds while providing attendees with access to coveted souvenirs and generating additional revenue. 

Food and Drink Add-ons

Much like merchandise sales, there are several ways to offer food and drinks to your guests without creating lines or crowds. Ideas for safe refreshment sales at a pod concert include:

  • Pre-packaging all food during COVID-safe cooking and prep
  • Placing pre-ordered food and drinks in the pod at the beginning of the event
  • Allowing guests to order food with an app or other contactless payment
  • Delivering food to each pod or offering an easy pick-up point for attendees

Enabling guests to both pre-order refreshments and purchase them via an app during the event will ensure guests have a safe and enjoyable experience throughout your concert. 

VIP Pods 

Offering an exclusive experience is one of the most effective ways to generate additional revenue at any concert. Pods create a new way to imagine the VIP experience at a concert. Ways to elevate your pods include:

  • Offering VIP pods closest to the stage or in exclusive areas
  • Providing VIP guests with access to high-end refreshments
  • Providing VIP guests exclusive access to new or special merchandise
  • Selling safe versions of a backstage pass or distanced meet-and-greet with your talent
  • Selling VIP tickets to pod-based before or after-parties

A Safe Way to Reintroduce Live Music Events

As aspects of society begin to return to normal and more public spaces reopen, the reality is that the new normal will look different from the world before COVID-19. Many people face social anxiety, stress over public health, and a distrust of large crowds. All of these considerations are important to honor when planning a modern event. As an organizer, you can help ease the transition back to live music events with a pod concert that places safety at the forefront. 

By affording attendees with their own space, you are doing the important work of getting venues back to hosting events while adapting to the new needs of the modern concertgoer.  When organized correctly, the pod structure can even encourage higher spending rates and add-ons per ticket. The distance between pods also cuts down on negative interactions between patrons, unwanted lines or crowds, and simplifies the cleaning process. 

Additional Safety Precautions to Consider

Pod concerts are a safe alternative to the classic crowds of a standard live music event. However, there are still safety precautions you can incorporate to maximize public safety at your concert. Here are a few safety considerations to take into account.

Scheduling Arrival and Departure Shifts

Consider scheduling arrivals and departures in shifts to avoid overcrowding. Stagger the arrival of each pod — or small batches of pods — to eliminate lines at the entrance of your event. Depending on your state requirements, clearly state mask or vaccine requirements for your venue.

Restricting Guests

If you plan on enforcing limits on numbers of households or placing restrictions on items that can be brought into the event, make sure they are clearly stated multiple times throughout the ticket purchasing process. These restrictions should also be posted at the entrance of your concert.

Conducting Wellness Checks 

Though mandates continue to relax, many venues may continue to implement wellness checks on both event staff and guests for the foreseeable future. More specifically, ways to efficiently incorporate health checks include:

  • Using an online survey or health pass that must be completed before entry
  • Having event staff take temperatures at the entrance 
  • Using wristbands to make note of cleared individuals 

Reducing Guest Counts

To accommodate the extra space and manpower that a pod concert format requires, you may need to reduce the capacity of your concert from its typical size. While this may increase ticket prices, the peace of mind and an additional level of safety will be well worth the cost to many attendees. 

Providing a Virtual Alternative 

Many organizers are moving away from the livestream format, but you may not want to rule out virtual options just yet. With a wide range of health needs and levels of comfort post-pandemic, it’s likely that many people will not be ready or able to return to large-scale events. By continuing to offer virtual tickets, you’ll be maximizing your pod concert revenue and including as many attendees as possible. 

Ready to Experience the Future of Live Concerts?

In the long road back to events as you experienced them before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an exciting opportunity to reimagine the live music scene. Pod concerts are just one example of the ways that COVID-adapted event formats may elevate the concert-going experience for all.  

If you’re ready to step into the future of live music events and plan your own pod concert, visit Events.com today. Events.com makes it easy to manage your concert, from ticket purchasing to post-event surveys. Whether you’re looking for tools to help with event marketing, management, or sponsorship, your next event starts with Events.com.