This was supposed to be a banner year for Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, the series of crash courses/concerts in which amateur musicians perform alongside rock royalty. The camps—which feature four days of private instruction and Q&As followed by public performances—were featured in a nationally distributed documentary, “Rock Camp: The Movie,” this past spring, and this November was to mark their first events in South Florida, at the lavish Guitar Hotel in Hollywood, since the pandemic. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Steve Morse of Deep Purple were to headline the Nov. 11-14 camp, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith headlining a second camp Dec. 2-5.
That is, until the announcement last week that the camps’ entire fall slate was being postponed to early 2022—the new dates are Jan. 6-9, and March 10-13, respectively—out of concern for the delta variant of COVID-19. The publicist deployed a phrase that has become all too familiar: “out of an abundance of caution.”
The Rock Camps are far from alone as the variant rages through states with lower-vaccinated populations. A conference for which I had purchased tickets in Arizona next month transitioned to a virtual-only format.
Florida hasn’t seen a significant uptick in cancelations or postponements just yet, however. If we do see such a trend, it would mean another crushing blow for the local live entertainment industry, which only returned to life in full force early this month. But we know from experience that when one is event is canceled, others often follow like dominoes. I’m certain that venues like the Kravis Center and the Broward Center, which recently announced busy cultural seasons, are monitoring the COVID numbers daily.
What do you think? Is it too early to be canceling events in November or December, in hopes the summer spike will have diminished by then? Or is it more prudential to cut losses now, for the benefit of public health and the comfort of attendees, and hope for a more promising 2022? Should anything be canceled at all, now that vaccines are readily available? I welcome your comments.