First to close and last to open

It feels like 2020 has been the longest year on record for everyone.

Things are hardly back to normal by any standard, but it has been encouraging to see the buzz of back to school shoppers and the community embracing dining out again.

As we enter the last quarter of the year, it’s important to remember that there are some industries stuck in limbo, such as any facility that hosts crowds.

What does the future hold for entertainment venues?

Return to new normal

Well to be fair, the Saskatchewan government has technically allowed the reopening of movie theatres, live theatres, performing arts, and live performances (in restaurants, licensed establishments and farmers markets).

Venues, however, are bewildered by the distancing and sanitizing required, both of which are virtually impossible in crowd scenarios.

Drive-in events have popped up with some success, such as the NSBA’s Popcorn and Entrepreneurship Series hosted from Prairieland’s parking lot this year.

Quite frankly, even if a concert was being held tomorrow, would you go?

That’s the assumption many venues and touring artists have made; as we see more cancellations of festivals and appearances.

Music has gone silent

My family attended our first live, socially distanced, music event in August.

We took in a local band, The Whiskey Jerks, and enjoyed a few cold beverages in our family pod from a parking lot

Far from normal but it sure was special. My husband is still talking about it.

Music lovers are hungry for live interaction; watching streams from the couch simply doesn’t suffice.

That’s also to say, musicians are likely literally hungry as they have lost their livelihood: touring.

Baby steps

Saskatoon’s downtown concert hall, TCU Place, has announced they will be hosting their first live event in months during the first week in October. 

They will only be selling 120 of the regular 2,003 seats available.

As they note in their promotion of the event, “We have the space to keep you safe.”

Interestingly ticket prices are not above regular prices, but I would expect that other venues may not be able to hold the pricing with less capacity.

Posted by Kelly Macsymic

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