What will be the new normal for listening to live music? What restrictions will we have so that we’ll be able to go out to listen to music at a music club or bar? Or go to a festival?
While COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise, some states and cities are slowly yielding to pressure from the federal, state and local governments (and some citizens as well) to “re-open” the economy. Now, it’s one thing to have the ability to go to a restaurant to pick up a take out order, or to a retail store to pick up something you’ve ordered online, or to a grocery store. It’s another thing entirely to consider the immense problems that opening up bars, festivals and music venues will entail.
Will we have to socially distance? Wear masks (good luck chugging a beer or drinking a cocktail with a mask on)? Our mayor has recently required that businesses be able to contact trace everyone who enters their doors. How will music venues, bars and festivals be able do handle this? What about the bands? Should members stand six feet away from each other? If music venues can only accommodate half of their capacity, will they be able to even pay a band if there’s not enough bar revenue or cover charges? How about the bartenders, sound techs, waitstaff? Will they be able to make ends meet on tips if there’s only 50 percent of customers allowed in the bar? These are complicated, thorny questions.