The 2021 Billboard Music Awards had everyone on Twitter talking. Surprisingly, one of the biggest discussions surrounding the award show was about the live crowd. Many shows during the 2021 awards season adhered to strict COVID-19 social distancing guidelines (or simply went virtual), the Billboard Music Awards ceremony, which took place outside, happened IRL — and with a pretty sizable crowd. Subsequently, lots of people took to Twitter to share their overall mixed feelings about the BBMAs crowd.
On one hand, some Twitter users expressed that seeing a crowd felt refreshing — a sign that nature is healing and the world might just, slowly, be returning to some sense of normalcy with widespread COVID vaccine availability. (Plus, close-up views of the crowd at the BBMAs did show a small amount of distance between people in the crowd, most of whom were masked up.)
However, with an enormous amount of the U.S. population still unvaccinated or not yet eligible to be vaccinated, seeing so many people packed into a small area so soon after the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local officials eased up on coronavirus restrictions had other viewers understandably uneasy. Unsurprisingly, the tweets about the BBMAs crowd reflect, on a smaller scale, public opinion about re-opening post-pandemic in general, which is: Aren’t we still in a pandemic, though?
As strange as it may have been to see several people gathered in a concentrated area — we’re coming off of a full year of crowds being a major danger zone, after all — the BBMAs crowd was masked and outside, and the show was given the green light to continue with the event. Even then, the BBMAs audience is a prime example of a reason to consider getting the vaccine if you’re able to. The more people get vaccinated, the greater the likelihood gatherings like this can take place at a more normal pace — and the more we can celebrate all the gatherings at home, too.