The return of live music to the first coast

Jennifer Ronzon, Reporter

Live music has made a triumphant return to the first coast after many long, quiet months. Artists have made up for lost time, with choices of shows to attend each week. Despite the excitement surrounding the shows, one question has lingered — is it a safe choice?

Image by Wendy Wei via Pexels.

Each week more venues return to normal, hosting local favorites to perform after month-long hiatuses. Venues including 1904 Music Hall, Jack Rabbits, and the River City Brewing Company have begun to host shows again. The feeling of singing and dancing to live music is one that was missed. While everyone is excited for the return of live music, safety must remain the priority.

COVID-19 continued to surge this week, with Florida passing 1.5 million cases according to the Florida Department of Health. Here at UNF, the school had its highest number of cases thus far– reporting 48 students and 15 employees testing positive the first week of January. Considering the increase in cases, many venues are operating under new safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

The St. Augustine Amphitheater, otherwise known as the Amp, has returned to a regular schedule of concerts. The outdoor venue detailed new safety measures set in place to ensure the safety of their guests on their website. Like many others, the venue requires masks and temperature screenings to enter. Guests with a temperature of 100.4 or above are not permitted to enter, but can receive a full refund for ticket cost.

The Amp is also operating at reduced capacity — selling tickets in “pre-configured pods ranging from two to eight seats per pod,” their website explains, “Each pod is at least six feet from one to the next. All seats within the pod must be purchased together.”

Similar policies have been adopted by other venues that have returned to operations under a new normal, encouraging masks, and social distancing throughout events.

If you choose to attend a show, be mindful of the virus. Do not attend events if you are feeling under the weather. Practice social distancing, wear a mask, and act responsibly as live music is welcomed back!  


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