Events are back in full swing

By Somer Slobodian and Nicole Garbanzos

Events are back in full swing, and attendees couldn’t be happier. We experienced this firsthand at the Walk Off The Earth concert at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 31st

“Oh my goodness, it feels so surreal to be back in a setting and environment where there’s a lot of people in place, especially concerts, concerts is the one thing that I missed so badly,” said event goer Victoria Fenn Alvarado before the concert.  

During the Taste of Oakville, the city’s annual culinary celebration, those who ate at participating restaurants were able to be entered into a draw to attend a concert featuring Walk Off The Earth, a Canadian indie pop band.  

Walk Off The Earth performing at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts

With restrictions being lifted just mere weeks ago, the concert saw a nearly full house.  

“It honestly is amazing to be back and seeing people’s faces and seeing people interact again,” said Reese, who works as a ticket taker at The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. “It means like getting back into real life and getting back to the normal that we all have been waiting for, for so long.” 

When the pandemic first emerged in 2020, hundreds of events were cancelled or postponed for the unforeseeable future. What was supposed to be the live events industry’s record-breaking year turned into a loss of an estimated $30 billion.  

Bands like Walk Off The Earth postponed many concerts over the last two years of the pandemic. They were set to perform at Sarnia’s Block Party in 2020, which got postponed not once, but twice.  

However, with the lifting of restrictions in Ontario and around the world, there’s good reason to believe that the live event industry will bounce back stronger than ever.  

Concert enthusiast Nathan Mackey can’t wait to attend the events he has lined up for this summer. Events are something that he use to attend all the time. It wasn’t until recently he went to his first in-person concert since the pandemic began.  

“Concerts are where I thrive, they are a place where I am in my element. I loved being back,” said Mackey.

The familiarity of live events is giving Ontarians hope that there may be a light at the end of this long tunnel we call COVID-19.  

Live crowds give us a sense of connection and belonging. There’s something unique about hearing one of your favourite songs performed live. The feeling of singing with a crowd of thousands sends chills through your entire body.  

“I missed the feeling of connecting with others over music. I missed the feeling of the lights going out and the crowd screaming as the artist walked on stage. It is just such a rush. I missed the in-person connection with the musician, there is something so special about seeing one of your favourite artists live,” said Mackey.  

Experts have found that our brains are wired to enjoy music, and they often release dopamine during peak emotional moments in a song.  

It’s no wonder all we feel is excitement and good energy at musical events.  

“Being able to be back in live crowds is the best feeling ever,” said Fenn Alvarado.  

The coming months are packed with events, especially at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Here’s to hoping it stays that way.