CJS wrote: ↑
Thu 19 Nov 2020, 10:48 am
Ken Shabby wrote: ↑
Thu 19 Nov 2020, 9:51 am
I’d be surprised if there’s any meaningful sort of airshow season in 2021 and I think we should be prepared to accept that the airshow ‘scene’ as we know it will never come back.
I think we have seen our last RIAT
and aside from shows at Duxford and Shuttleworth, I don’t see many others - big or small - ever returning.
Granted, 2021 might be a disjointed affair airshow-wise, but this is not a virus that's going to kill off mass gatherings as we know them, it really isn't.
There are too many other types of mass gatherings that will be considered way too important to just write off - 50,000 crammed in to a little (by comparison to an airfield) sports stadium for example, but you really think sport based mass gatherings (ie. having spectators back) is going to be gone for ever? Course it's not.
There's no reason at all that airshows can't and won't be back up and running once the virus is brought under control with the expected and very welcome vaccines.
As long as they have managed to mothball themselves for long enough to start up again I mean - if they have survived financially - then I don't see a virus related reason for them not to start up again once other mass gatherings (concerts, football matches and so on) are given the go ahead to continue.
Yes, seriously. It’s not about whether the will to organise airshows again will still exist, but a question of how much of the infrastructure that supports them (including businesses such as sponsors) has survived the past six months and how much will survive the coming months.
You mention mothballing - whilst that’s possible for some businesses, it still costs money and for many they can’t just put things ‘on hold’ and magically re-start when circumstances allow. Over 10,000 businesses have gone to the wall in the past six months. 4,000 new ones have appeared, but it’s still a huge deficit. Sports-based mass gatherings will continue, of course, but it’s taking £300 million of public money announced today to make sure the infrastructure survives to be there when they can resume.
If RIAT doesn’t happen next year, which I don’t think it will, how much of its organisation will survive after a two-year absence to put on another? People move on and don’t come back, skills and knowledge gets lost, things get sold off. And large airshows have a habit of never reappearing after taking so-called ‘short breaks’ e.g. Mildenhall, Waddington.
Hopefully, I’ll be proved wrong but, as enthusiasts, we shouldn’t underestimate the enormous effect the COVID restrictions have had (and will continue to have) on the many businesses and organisations we rely on to deliver the airshow ‘scene’. It would be naive of us to think we will get our jabs and it will all suddenly reappear.