The Pandemic Concert Experience: Harry Styles
As life begins to adjust back to a relatively normal state since COVID, events have developed new policies in order to keep everyone safe.
On November 11, I attended a Harry Styles Love On Tour concert at the SAP Center in San Jose, California while the pandemic is still deeply present. It was a sold out show with approximately 19,000 screaming fans in one arena. Although this is not my first concert at this venue, it was still a little different compared to normal shows without COVID restrictions.
In order to attend the show, the SAP Center mandated full COVID vaccination (attendees were required to show proof at the door) and Styles required that masks be worn at all times. If you were not vaccinated, you had to present a negative COVID test within 48 hours to ensure everyone’s safety.
The transition of being in a small town to visiting a big city, let alone going to a concert with thousands of people, is quite bizarre. Before entering the venue, you had to show your vaccination card, ID, and ticket to security. Proceeding to the entrance, security also asks that you bring a bag that is no more than 5” x 9” x 2”. Once entering the venue, there were a plethora of ushers to help you acclimate.
While waiting for Styles, a prerecorded message of his voice echoed around the arena; he requested that masks stay on during the show at all times. Throughout the show, everyone was dancing and singing along to his music while simultaneously abiding by the rules that the SAP Center and Styles created to assure safety not only for themselves, but for the people around them too.
Despite the anxiety of a massive transition from being around little to a lot of people, the general experience made it all worth it. Styles likes to create physically and emotionally safe environments, and his show epitomized this goal. Everyone was dressed in feather boas, light-up cowboy hats, and variations of fruits, all inspired by the singer’s impeccable fashion sense. During the show, he helped someone come out, convince a person to move to New York, and told everyone to “tell the people you love that you love them.”
Photo By Ava Taylor
It was an extremely safe and comfortable experience with everyone wearing a mask and knowing that everyone who attended was fully vaccinated. Of course Harry, his stage presence, and the audience’s energy made it all worth it.