Recently, a Berlin indie musician of lesser fame performed in Munich’s enormous Olympic Stadium. Without wanting to offend the beautiful Bernadette La Hengst: that was of course only possible because of the pandemic.
Usually it plays in much smaller locations. At the concert under the legendary tent roof, 300 spectators had to take a seat.
After all, a bit of life in the stadium again. But at the same time, at such occasions it becomes clear what has not been possible for six months now and what music and sports fans miss: cheering, dancing, drinking together with many others. Remote exuberance is impossible. Stages that only a few people can visit in the long run are transformed into non-places. It just doesn’t rock anymore.
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The Bundesliga has started again on Friday evening, and how sad these undead places are now to see regularly on television. If you could convince yourself that it was an exception in the past season, which was played hauntingly, nothing now leads to the realization that there will be no sold out stadiums for a long time.
Where’s the collective euphoria?
Part of the much-invoked new normal is a phantom pain that cannot be alleviated by open-air concerts under strict conditions, or by letting several thousand football fans take to the stands here and there. Because something essential is missing, which has been part of the fascination of sports and cultural venues since ancient times.
They are the moments of collective euphoria in which there is an exchange of energy between the stars and the audience. The famous spark that suddenly hits everyone on the roof, recognizing a hit, singing along and laughing at those who stand by.
An even more dramatic dynamic is known from the critical stages of football matches, when suddenly the blocks past the fan clubs cheer their team like crazy. This also releases new power on the lawn. Some targets are called out, that’s not magical thinking, it’s home advantage. At this point, this just means that the guest team has a shorter journey and knows where the toilets are.
Cardboard cutouts on the stands
The memory of great live experiences makes you melancholy. The feeling is compounded by the sight of cardboard figures in the stands or the mixed stadium atmosphere on the soundtrack. In fact, it would be best if the Bundesliga moved their matches to training grounds, fans would not be allowed in, the TV broadcasts would pass without bells and whistles.
Then it would really be clear to everyone how serious the corona situation still is. It is quite possible that such naked games increase the public’s motivation to actively avoid a second wave. Mask on, then the stadium again at some point.
And while the kickers play in the training ground, rappers, rockers, soul singers and indie musicians, who are currently not playing indoor gigs, can let off steam in the arenas. In Munich, there would not only be room in the Olympic Stadium, but also in the Allianz Arena. Its illuminable bowl would certainly make a chic light show.