Musicians And Venues Look For Ways To Navigate The Pandemic

Artists are touring and concert spaces are open, but there’s disagreement about what precautions should be expected of audiences and bands.

By Michael MarksAugust 11, 2021 1:24 pm, , , ,

Live music is back. Kind of. Venues across Texas are open and booking shows once again. But, like everything else, the concert-going experience isn’t exactly as simple as it used to be. That’s as true for fans as it is for musicians.

Last weekend, Alabama folk rocker Jason Isbell played three nights in Austin’s Moody Theater. To get in, you needed either proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID test.

“I think it’s up to all of us to do what we can just to keep the music business running. Because we’re going to get shut back down again real soon if we don’t start doing this,” Isbell said on MSNBC.

Not everyone in the music business is sold on the idea though. After Austin, Isbell was scheduled to play Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. But the show was cancelled. According to a tweet from Isbell’s label, the Houston venue wouldn’t comply with Isbell’s vaccination policy.

These are tough calls for venues and artists, and they’re the kind of decisions that Miles Bloxson and Elizabeth McQueen have been thinking a lot about. They host Pause/Play, the podcast from our home station’s KUT and KUTX Studios documenting Austin’s music scene during the pandemic.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

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