CLEVELAND, Ohio – Last month, more than a dozen music venues in Northeast Ohio announced new safety protocols amidst the COVID-19 delta surge.
As of Sept. 7, those venues require event attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours.
In the latest episode of the CLE Rocks podcast, we sit down with several of local concert club owners to talk about the new guidelines and what it’s been like doing business (or not) during a global pandemic.
Sean Watterson of Happy Dogg, Cindy Barber of Beachland Ballroom & Tavern, Gabriel Pollack of the Bop Stop at the Music Settlement and Nate Offerdahl of Westside Bowl in Youngstown opened up about everything from working diligently with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to secure funds to keep these businesses alive to the paranoia and anxiety that comes with not knowing when things will get back to normal.
“For a couple of weeks, I’ve been waking up with this really eerie, ‘Oh my god!’ feeling like it’s February 2020 all over again in the pit of my stomach and I can’t seem to shake it,” said Offerdahl. “The majority of folks in this business are trying like hell to keep us from ending up closed or postponing shows again.”
The announcement of stricter safety protocols at local venues followed the same move made by the nation’s two largest live entertainment companies – Live Nation and AEG Presents. Still, Offerdahl and his fellow business owners have dealt with angry phone calls and social media in recent weeks posts by those opposed to such mandatory measures.
This content was originally published here.