Since the start of COVID-19, the League has been collecting regular updates on the impact the pandemic has had on orchestras. Our third COVID-19 Impact Survey opened on February 22, 2021, with 198 orchestras across all budget groups participating by March 11. The survey collected information to help orchestras gain a better understanding of how, when, and what the rest of the current season and the 2021-22 season might look like. Member orchestras participating in the survey received detailed results for their budget group and adjacent groups. Contact knowledge@americanorchestras.org for further information.

Some of the highlights are:

  • 23% of orchestras are currently offering performances with a live, in-person audience.
  • Over two-thirds (67%) are offering streaming performances.
  • 43% of respondents anticipated resuming concerts with live, in-person audiences in the early fall, (17% in September and 26% in October).
  • Programming next year will continue to be weighted somewhat toward chamber orchestra and small ensembles (64% and 58% respectively) more than full-orchestra performances (49%). The largest-budget orchestras are an exception: 80% are anticipating programming for full orchestra.
  • Orchestras are expecting halls to be on average at 42% of capacity when audiences return in person.
  • Not all orchestras have been able to perform this year, though: nearly one-third (28%) are not offering any performances—live or streamed. And for smaller-budget orchestras that rises to 56%.

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