How fans create electric atmospheres.
Since the arrival of Covid-19, empty seats and eerie silences at sports and entertainment venues have highlighted how much fans contribute to live events. Everywhere from the Olympics to the Premier League and the London Proms, a lack of crowds has meant an absence of atmosphere.
Memorable atmospheres are created when behaviour and emotions align within a social gathering. Groups that share a common focus and respond to events with expressions of contagious excitement create economic value for the organisations which stage the events and pleasure for their customers.
Places that do this well, like Glastonbury or Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC, eventually become known for their unique atmospheres. And this leads people to return on a regular basis to relive these magical experiences.
Yet creating atmospheres after lockdowns and extensive social restrictions is a challenge for theatres, nightclubs, stadiums and festivals. Some events have been cancelled, while others are going ahead, despite the risks of infection.