Reader: Why Can't a Band Play for Thirty Masked Fans?

Will the music be back?EXPAND
Will the music be back?
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Slowly, very slowly, live music has been returning to a few venues around Denver, including Nocturne, Dazzle and the Mercury, with proprietors careful to observe all the rules that allow restaurants to reopen...and also offer some musical entertainment.

Or so they thought until June 12, when they received an alert that the earlier okay from Denver Arts & Venues had been an error. "With regard to performances in your Restaurant, the safer at home public health order requires that performance theatres, concert halls, and music halls remain closed," read the letter from the Denver City Attorney's Office. "This also means you may not allow live performances at this time. We apologize for any previous guidance you may have received to the contrary. We encourage you to stay up to date on all state and city orders regarding this matter.”

After more attorneys got involved, Dazzle was able to proceed with its grand opening that night. But owner Donald Rossa, as well as other venue proprietors, is eager for clarification of the rules from both the city and the state.

And in the meantime, readers have some ideas. Says Nicholson:

 Let's have some outside live music first.

Asks Jeff:

 Why can't some band play in a restaurant parking lot for thirty masked fans?

Counters Sue: 

Why can't a band play inside a restaurant for thirty masked fans?

Adds Carla:

 So what’s the difference between sitting inside a restaurant and eating versus sitting in a restaurant and eating and listening to live music? Is it somehow more dangerous?

Notes Scott: 

Everyone in this conversation stills shops at stores and gets groceries. Have to live; can't hide. Only have one life to live. Literally no difference, just different forms of passing the time whether music is involved or not. Can't hide forever.

Responds Nick:

 Right, because making money is more important than public health. Make all guests and employers pay a public health surcharge to support local hospitals.

Here are some of the venues offering live music...unless the city attorney steps in again. In the meantime, Dazzle is open for weekend brunch, and has also hosted a speaker's series about race.

What do you think of the idea of parking-lot concerts with social distancing rules? How about shows in restaurants that stick to the fifty-person limit, as well as other restrictions? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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