COVID-19 venue round-up: Dropkick Murphys to set first with Fenway Park gig

Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys has announced plans to hold a concert at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, as part of a free live-streaming initiative.

The concert, which has been dubbed ‘Streaming Outta Fenway’, will take place on May 29 at an empty Fenway Park, with fans invited to stream the performance live at their homes. Bruce Springsteen will also join the band remotely for a ‘Fenway Double Play’.

Dropkick Murphys said it would become the first band in history to play on the grass of the infield diamond at Fenway Park, and the first to play a full show in an empty sports stadium.

Dropkick Murphys has teamed up with Boston technology company PEGA on the initiative, which will raise funds for Boston Resiliency Fund, Habitat for Humanity and Feeding America.

The concert will be streamed live on Dropkick Murphys’ Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch pages. The band members will be spread across the pitch to ensure they are adhering to social distancing guidelines, and fewer than 30 crew will be in the stadium during the concert.

Premier League

Meanwhile, football’s English Premier League is  considering a number of initiatives that could enhance the viewing experience when the competition resumes.

The Reuters news agency has reported that the Premier League is exploring the use of audio effects and computer-generated fans to create a better experience for supporters watching on television.

Premier League clubs have been cleared to return to small-group training from today (Tuesday) as the league steps up its ‘Project Restart’ plans and chief executive Richard Masters has been discussing methods to enhance the viewing experience when it does return.

The German Bundesliga became the first major European league to return at the weekend. German broadcaster Sky Deutschland gave its viewers the option of choosing match coverage with fake crowd noise.

Masters said: “I think we’ll take a different approach, not better, but slightly different approach about the behind-closed-doors product and that was one of the things we were able to talk to clubs today, the direction of travel on. We have a group of clubs and broadcasters together on that.”

Reuters, citing sources with knowledge of the discussions, reported that computer generated fans are being considered to fill empty seats in stadia, although no decision has been finalised as yet.

“In terms of the precise nature of what we are planning, we haven’t really talked about it with the wide group yet so I don’t want to share too much of the plans,” Masters added.

“But obviously the big issue is that if there aren’t fans in the stadium, what does the viewing fan at home, what’s his experience like? And how different is it to a normal Premier League production and that’s the question we’re seeking to answer.”


In other news, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has ruled that stadia in the country can reopen, although events with crowds will still not be permitted.

India has extended its lockdown until May 31 but has relaxed some conditions as it enters the fourth phase of the process. The ruling on stadia would allow sporting events to resume behind closed doors.

Cricket’s Indian Premier League is one of the country’s major sports competitions to be hit by COVID-19, with its 2020 season having been suspended until further notice. The Board of Control for Cricket in India said that the league would only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The IPL had originally been due to run from March 29 to May 24.

Image: werkunz1