Entertainment venues feel Omicron impact, learning to get creative
SALISBURY, Md. – “It’s a very dim light at the end of the tunnel, if we see a light at all,” Secretary of Community Partners of Salisbury’s Rusty Munford said.
Lights. Cameras. No Action. As many venues remain closed and some performances postponed, I’m told the arts and entertainment industry on the shore continues to feel the impacts of the pandemic sting.
“Local gigging musicians have seen the overall number of shows they book dropped, your local museums or entertainment venues may see dips in attendance which translate to ticket sales,” Director of SBY’s Arts & Entertainment District Jamie Heater said.
Community Players of Salisbury says they were off stage for over a year and a half due to COVID-19 but managed to make a return last June.
Secretary Rusty Munford tells me right when they started to feel some relief it didn’t last long.
“There has to be more strict social distancing with the seating. Everyone has to wear a mask in the theater at all times except for the performers while on stage,” Munford said.
Due to the current omicron urge, Community Players had to postpone their 25th Annual Spelling Bee production by almost 30 days. It’s a move I’m told was out of their control.
“It’s frustrating when we get to the point when a show is ready to be put on the stage and we find out we can’t,” Munford said. “We’re performers. We’re techies. We want to do performances.”
“Not only is it a downturn from an economic standpoint, but just overall peoples access to art. Entertainment, culture, togetherness has been affected,” Heater said.
That want to perform got their creative juices flowing and streaming live performances was put in action. I’m told it’s that optimism the industry will keep as they move forward.
“Has it decreased? Yes. Is there in general less live music on a Friday night in Salisbury’s art district? Yes. But the show must go on,” Heater said.
“Oh we will keep going. It’s in our blood. We will find a way or find ways to perform,” Munford said.
Experts say thanks to emergency assistance from The Maryland State Arts Council, they’ve been able to stay above water throughout the pandemic. Despite this, they hope things will soon get back to a sense of normalcy.