There’s something about a live show. Your favourite musicians, or those you’ve recently discovered, get on stage, the lights go down, the strings get a final tuning, and the room comes alive. You’re in a smaller space, a local venue, not a multi-thousand seated behemoth (although there is certainly a time and a place). The vibe is different here.
You nod to those you’ve nodded to at other shows. You know the bar staff enough to say hello and maybe they even remember your favourite beer. You know to avoid the table in the corner with the wobbly leg. This is your place. But what if it wasn’t anymore?
“In Edmonton, venues are dropping like flies, said David Lee, Naked Café’s marketing and booking manager. There’s virtually no support for venues.”
Lee stressed that if Edmonton had more of a focus on the importance of music, there could be a vibrant area in the heart of Downtown. COVID-19 has not helped the live music scene either and it has been an incredibly tough time for venues, artists and staff involved in the live music industry, with more than a few businesses shutting down for good.
“Live music venues are a fragile ecosystem, even during the best of times. This past year has pushed them to a near breaking point. We’re thrilled to be inviting artists back on stage, and while we hope that further shutdowns won’t be needed, we acknowledge that safety should be our first priority as the province reopens,” said Olivia Street, On The Rocks’ talent coordinator.
A way for the community to show its support is to attend more live music events. Here are some venues that have reopened in Oliver and Downtown or have come up with unique ways to get their music out such as live DJ streaming. Check out their sites for more info.
99TEN – THE COMMON
9910 109 Street
10303 108 Street
ON THE ROCKS (OTR)
11740 Jasper Avenue
THE STARLITE ROOM/TEMPLE RIVER CITY REVIVAL HOUSE
10030 102 Street
STATION ON JASPER
10524 Jasper Avenue