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Covid vs Indies | Will you still attend shows?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the ‘booming’ independent pro wrestling business to a screeching halt.

Do you see the indies coming back to ‘normal’ once this is allowed with high school gyms, local bars etc.. being packed again with sweaty, screaming wrestling fans?

Do you think you will still bother to attend and be able to enjoy local indies in a ‘social distance’ setup wearing a face mask for hours?

In short: How do you envision the future of independent wrestling?

 

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Two or 3 years ago that would have been a more apt question, hell 3 months ago that would have been a more apt question, certainly on the UK scene.

Personally, if it's mandatory I'm not looking forward to 4 hours in a sweaty venue, with sweaty dudes in a facemask.

From the perspective of promoters can they afford to run venues at 30% capacity? We also still don't know how much damage Speaking Out has done to people's confidence in indie wrestling and their regular promotions. Obviously Progress absolutely shit the bed on a bunch of stuff and EVE haven't exactly come out of this smelling of roses with the Pollyanna/Ospreay/ResGal situation.

Hopefully British promoters have their ducks in a row, but the situation with WWE, Speaking Out and Covid could represent a perfect storm that they can't recover from.

Edited by BrodyGraham

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Given state of UK scene just now, it ain’t coming back as it was on the over 18 show side. On the family show side which majority are, if they can get back to full allowed attendances I think it will as people seem desperate to get out and do things 

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I'll definitely ask more questions than usual before buying tickets, but I won't rule it out. There are some promotions who will run easily on 100 fans in a leisure centre, but there are others for whom that will cost-prohibitive or aesthetically bad. If only our weather was more reliable and outdoor shows were a good bet!

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I'll be giving all shows a wide berth for the foreseeable, at least until the New Year, due to health concerns and the bad taste from #SpeakingOut. I can see actual show-only promotions struggling to make ends meet, but loss-makers run by training schools will probably do okay. When tourism starts phasing back in properly, the carny outfits that have their grip on the holiday camps will be back, albeit probably alongside a sudden surge in ring sales, because they'll have had to flog theirs for scrap to keep them in Lidl beans.

If shows become a regular thing again, I'll likely support local schools or trainee friends, but I'll be far more discerning when it comes to checking who's on cards.

You'd think this would be an ideal time for a wave of fresh faces or new presentations, even if I don't know what the latter would be. 

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You could argue that the Speaking Out impact won't be felt because of the Covid situation. They're almost lucky that they're not running shows at the moment anyway. The longer this goes on, the more the memories of all that will fade. But yes the idea of being in small sweaty venues isn't particularly appealing anytime soon.

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So yeah, that's pretty much a description of a British indy wrestling show.

In any case, some promotions might fly under the radar, but if you are following the Japanese lead and doing 1/3 of usual capacity, there's very few venues I go to where a show would be financially viable.

In the medium term, the problem is going to be promotions who put tickets on sale now for shows with no certainty of happening and they wind up having to cancel/postpone/refund. 

Edited by JNLister

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15 hours ago, DavidB6937 said:

You could argue that the Speaking Out impact won't be felt because of the Covid situation. They're almost lucky that they're not running shows at the moment anyway. The longer this goes on, the more the memories of all that will fade. But yes the idea of being in small sweaty venues isn't particularly appealing anytime soon.

On the flipside of this, I think Speaking Out has/will impact on individuals to a far greater extent because of Covid - the David Starrs and Joey Ryans of the world have had no public profile other than being abusers for the past few months, whereas if they were still wrestling, people would likely have been quicker to make excuses for them and let them get away with it. The lack of shows meant they were, paradoxically, under a greater degree of scrutiny than they would have been otherwise.

I agree, though, that promotions probably won't have felt the brunt of it because of all this, and likely will be able to come back relatively unscathed if they've weathered the financial storms of lockdown well enough.

 

I'd resigned myself to the idea that I won't be working or attending any shows this year, or at the very least that I'd maybe work my booking in Jersey in October, but that would be it. On paper, I have a show at the end of this month, and I still don't know if that's going ahead or not.

I will try and support shows as best I can, but there are some I'll be warier about attending than others, for sure. Not just in terms of smaller, stuffier venues, but in terms of those who are really rushing to come back - I don't have a lot of trust in promotions already announcing for shows in the UK for September/October, before we really have a clear view of what September's going to look like. 

It's going to be different geographically, as well. There's a lot of even "big name" promotions that will find that running in London is entirely unfeasible for the foreseeable future - the small venues won't be viable, the mid-range venues will be prohibitively expensive, and nobody's going to be getting on the Tube, or travelling from outside the city, unless they absolutely have to. 

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