Reader Talk: Y’all ready to go dancing?

Photo by LeeAnn Stephan

The gist: Maybe. It depends when, where, if there’s a vaccine or if Lafayette gets its act together on wearing masks. We heard from 62 readers this week on our live music survey. The responses range (y’all got a lot of opinions), but for the most part what we’ve heard is things aren’t quite what they used to be. 

Most folks aren’t ready for shows indoors. That’s not really surprising, considering close quarters are riskier places these days. Nearly 80% said “no” to heading back to indoor venues. 

“As a musician, I have had very mixed experiences during the pandemic. I have played for weddings — indoors — where people crammed into a small space, shoulder to shoulder, and nobody wore a mask. I almost walked out and I couldn’t wait to leave. I have also played for events that were outdoors or online where everyone was very supportive. Even though my income has been reduced by half due to the lack of live concerts, I am in no hurry to return to playing indoors and I am undecided whether or not to perform at an indoors venue if people are not required to wear masks.” — Molly Goforth 

But readers are split about going to outdoor events. Louisiana’s public health officials have indicated that open air is less risky, provided the basics of social distancing are observed. Plus, people generally seem to think it’s easier to be safe outside than inside, which makes intuitive sense.

“I’d be more inclined to go to something like DTA where I can keep some distance from people, but indoor music is not something I think I’ll do for a while. The current case numbers are especially discouraging for me.” — Karl Schott 

Here’s an idea: How about live music “subscriptions.” We heard from a couple of readers who suggested this was a time to rethink how live music works, maybe even permanently. 

“Reservations are key! We need more places to start thinking like this or even to consider a “subscription” to shows/events. Also, let’s make it feel special and like a destination. So many people have canceled vacations, etc. We all need it for our mental health. Creativity is abundant in our community. Can we bring back variety shows from the low-tech days?!” — Kari Walker 

Local musicians aren’t too keen either. For full-time musicians especially, the idea of going back to work in a pandemic can be nerve-wracking. Others think they’ll be part of the problem if they start organizing events. 

“I’m a local musician primarily playing in smaller punk bands. I’d like to see small shows happening at venues, but I don’t think that is sustainable for the business. I’ve tried to put on outdoor shows before, but the need for a noise permit makes it not really doable from a financial perspective. I hope the council will waive permit costs due to the circumstances.” — Jason Woodworth 

Overall, readers are generally uncomfortable, even if they’re anxious to get back to the music they love. 

“I do not trust the data and feel (especially locally) that politicians are misguided. It is not safe.” — Alison Deshotels 

“I am high-risk due to age, also have type A blood which has been shown to cause harsher results if one contracts the virus. Miss dancing a lot but not ready to dance with someone yet.” — Karen Ardoin 

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