The rhythm of reopening — music festivals plan to resume in 2021

By Lauren Muttram, April 13, 2021

Festivalgoers are one step closer to dancing under strobe lights and singing along to their favorite artists, as select California music festivals prepare to resume this summer.

After numerous festivals postponed their shows until 2022, others, including Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas and HARD Summer in San Bernardino, California, announced they will be holding concerts this summer in accordance with local safety guidelines. Life is Beautiful is scheduled for Sept. 17, 18 and 19 while HARD Summer will be held on July 31 and Aug. 1.

“HARD will be working closely with local officials to implement necessary safety precautions and will follow state and local health guidelines in place at the time of the event,” according to a statement to HARD Summer’s website.

By purchasing a ticket to Life is Beautiful, concertgoers agree to comply with the festival’s health guidelines as well as federal, state and local regulations. HARD Summer has yet to announce its official safety precautions.

HARD Summer will be held at National Orange Show Event Center — a 38-minute drive from the Cal Poly Pomona campus.

Additional California music festivals planned for 2021 include Outside Lands, Dreamstate SoCal, Ohana Festival and Desert Daze.

“I think it’s good for people to do something fun for their mental health — something outside the normal routine,” said Emily Martinez, a second-year business student. “I feel that as long as they require masks for everyone, there shouldn’t be a problem with music festivals starting up again.”

While Los Angeles County is now in the orange tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, San Bernardino remains in the red tier and is classified as a substantial risk of exposure.

In the current red tier, outdoor venues can operate at 20% of their normal capacity. When the county reaches the orange tier (moderate risk) they will be permitted to operate at 33% capacity and eventually 67% capacity when they are at minimal risk in the yellow tier.

As of April 8, over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccination have been distributed in the state of California, making the state the 28th most vaccinated in the country.

With vaccinations continuing to be distributed, many hope to regain a sense of normalcy as the pandemic begins to ebb.

Fourth-year philosophy student Edwin Ruiz was skeptical about music festivals resuming this year but believes the scheduled events represent the beginning of a post-pandemic era.

“I think the vaccine definitely makes a lot more people comfortable with gathering again,” Ruiz said. “Mixing with a yearning to be in a social setting, I think the vaccine justifies these situations.”

Despite the increase in vaccination numbers and the implementation of safety guidelines, some individuals feel it is still a risk to gather in large groups.

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter how low the capacity is, it’s still going to be a risk if you’re concerned for your health,” said fifth-year civil engineering student Alex Cerano.

An avid concertgoer before the pandemic, Cerano believes people have the right to choose whether they are willing to risk their health to attend festivals and concerts.

To determine current risk level and restrictions per county, visit

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