PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — October was supposed to be one of the busiest months for local music venues, but the music has stopped for most venues here in the Valley. Some are struggling to keep their doors open as others are getting creative with bringing concerts to the Phoenix area.
Like most music venues, The Rebel Lounge is quiet and closed. There’s been no live music since March. “In the light of COVID, I don’t know how to do a concert safely, you know. Until there’s a vaccine, I don’t know how you can do the concert,” said Rebel Lounge owner and vice president of National Independent Venue Association, Stephen Chilton. Chilton said last year, he had 600 concerts. This year, he had only 75. “I don’t think there’s an industry harder hit, we are at zero percent revenue for six months,” said Chilton.
Meanwhile, some event planners are getting into the music scene. “We are a reaction to COVID,” said Bob Bentley with Thompson Event Center and Digital Drive-In. They turned their drive-in movie lot into a drive-in concert.
Think of it as a live concert meets a drive-in movie.
Bentley hopes to do a concert on Halloween after their summertime shows were marred by the heat. “I think for us, we want to stay CDC-compliant. We want everyone to be healthy, so lets social distance, lets bring your cars and lets go old school,” said Bentley.
Meanwhile, indoor venues like The Rebel Lounge don’t have the capabilities for drive-in concerts. “We produce mass gatherings and that’s the least safe thing right now,” said Chilton. Now, NIVA has a Save Our Stages campaign, urging lawmakers to give financial assistance to venues in the next coronavirus relief package. “There’s no way all of these venues are going to survive without aid,” said Chilton.
NIVA is partnering with YouTube for a 3-day virtual music festival, for more information click here.
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