Robb Flynn says that "MACHINE HEAD shows will probably not resume until summer of 2022" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that is currently sweeping the globe.
Flynn made his comments just days after Dr. Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, said that he doesn't anticipate it to be safe to return to concerts, sporting events and other mass public gatherings for another 18 months. Echoing those sentiments was California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has said concerts and mass gathering events will be the last things to go back to normal as restrictions that have been placed in response to the coronavirus outbreak are modified.
Writing in the latest installment of his online blog, "The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings", Flynn cited Emanuel and Newsom's comments and said that they are both "right" in their assessment of the situation.
"Guys like Zeke and [Anthony S.] Fauci [the the head of the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases and part of the White House's coronavirus task force] have been sounding the alarm for a long time now," Flynn wrote in part. "This pandemic, like nearly all pandemics, will last 18 to 24 months. It's going to come in waves. We're gonna be hunkered down for a while, then we're going to be able to lighten up some of the restrictions. Then it's going to kick back in and we're gonna have to hunker down, quarantine, shelter in place, social distance. Only to then will free things up, again at least to some degree, and then a third wave will probably come… and by then we will have the routine down so it will likely be under control, with the vaccine that's wildly available to the general public."
He continued: "Concerts will be the last thing that are allowed to happen. The large public gatherings that we've grown accustomed to? These things will never be the same. And like what happened during the Spanish flu of 1918, even when it ends, people are not going to be ready to go back to normal anyway.
"Rock Clubs and Venues will have to cut down capacities by at least half.
"Metal fans will be the most resilient of all the fan bases. I have zero question that they will be the first to return, determined to go back to shows, maybe to a fault (LOL), and for that I'm unbelievably grateful.
"Pop and hip-hop audience often spend a lot more at shows than metal folks, insane amounts of money for 'highroller seats', but with very little dedication to the artist/act.
"Sadly, we metal fans will also likely be most affected by this pandemic, as we are the one audience that is often struggling to live paycheck to paycheck.
"It's hard to accept the length of something like this, but the sooner that we can wrap our heads around it, the better we will likely be. This false notion that in just a few months we're going to get 'back to business,' is good for a soundbite on Facebook, but bad for making realistic plans.
"I myself have been able to keep a far more positive mindset knowing that MACHINE HEAD shows will probably not resume until summer of 2022, and that we will likely not get fully back on track until 2024, if we ever get back on track AT ALL!
"We've gotta plan far ahead. We've got to figure out other ways to pay the bills.
"Let's face it, most music industry folks (record biz, crew, promotion, etc.) will most likely change jobs entirely and do something else for the rest of their lives. This of course happens as the record business takes another hit. Clubs, venues, promoters, a lot of life as we knew it… it's all going to be decimated. Look at all the Euro festivals that have already been cancelled.
"And look, I'll say it here, I hope I'm wrong about the length of time. I would love to be wrong about this. But listening to people like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Ezekiel Emanuel…. It makes me think otherwise.
"Oh wait, that's right we can't listen to Fauci because he's trying to undermine Trump. Now there's a whole #FauciFraud, #FireFauci from all of these right-wing conspiracy nut balls."
You can read Flynn's entire blog entry at MachineHead1.com.
MACHINE HEAD recently announced the rescheduled dates for the second European leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut album, "Burn My Eyes".
The second run of dates, which was postponed due to the fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus, was originally scheduled to kick off in Zaragoza, Spain on April 19, continuing across Portugal, Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, wrapping in the U.K. with a Birmingham show at the Academy on June 6. The new dates are slated to kick off on October 8 in Pamplona, Spain and conclude on November 23 in London, England.
In announcing the rescheduled dates, MACHINE HEAD stressed that the band "will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure the reality of doing them. Of the utmost importance to us is the health and safety of the Head Cases. We will not put you or others at risk, during this unprecedented time."
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.
Public health experts have repeatedly expressed their concern that Americans are underestimating how long the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt everyday life in the country.
Dr. Fauci has said a vaccine may be 12-18 months away, but other experts said it could take even longer.
As the coronavirus disease continues to spread, live event organizers have been canceling or postponing large gatherings, including concerts and festivals.
Entertainers, crew and other workers in the industry have already lost billions of dollars as a result of COVID-19-related cancelations, representing only a small fraction of the financial devastation that will be experienced by workers in the sector as cancelations continue to roll in.