On August 19th, the Governor of NY Andrew Cuomo, tweeted that the infection rate is still slowing in NYC. Shortly after, music venue owners discovered that New York state is now prohibiting them from offering ticketed live music events.
This new rule has taken many by surprise. Bars, restaurants, and live music venues have began to schedule performances for the upcoming months. While this decision is happening based on the premise that larger crowds can cause COVID-19 to spread, this news is devastating to many venue owners who have been out of work for months.
What Does This Mean?
This rule means that no customers can specifically buy tickets to see a performance or attend an event with a cover charge. Additionally, venues are unable to advertise live music. Non-ticketed events, or incidental music, will be allowed. Meaning, if music is part of the dining experience, that is fine. However, it cannot draw a crowd to a certain venue. Subsequently, restaurants and other on premise food and beverage venues are allowed on-premise music. But, this is only if their license through the State Liquor Authority (SLA) allows it. Of course, all CDC guidelines must be followed at all times.
Julie Leone, co-owner of the 443 Social Club & Lounge in Syracuse is devastated by this news. The 443 does offer food and drinks, but their business model relies heavily on live entertainment. Leone has one event she’s going through with, and after that, will shut down again.
In a time where money is tight and uncertainty is high, this is absolutely a major a blow. The music industry that has taken a huge financial hit during this time. New York, a vibrant state attracting so much culture and music, is taking hit after hit in efforts to rebuild during this pandemic.