The velvet ropes used to corral long lines of partiers are stored away. Old concert posters hang as reminders of pre-pandemic loud, raucous nights.
But nightclubs are no longer coming alive after dark. Victoria’s lively nightlife has been shuttered three months now because of COVID-19.
But the clubs’ closure is all in the name of safety.
The “party” scene is an easy place of transmission for the coronavirus.
Physically distant dancing is just not possible. And until a widely accepted vaccination or community immunity comes into place, it’s likely clubs will remain closed.
“Most of the places we perform at are local and are locally owned. They’re small businesses that thrive because they have a scene. So for me, I’m concerned for them,” said musician Caleb Kennedy, who plays in the local band Weak Patrol, and three other bands in town.
Clubs like Capital Ballroom, Distrikt, Hermann’s Jazz Club, The Duke, and Canoe host a vibrant live music scene in town.
But now, with no place to play, musicians are also facing an extinction of sorts.
“Performing live is really big because as an independent band, we don’t really get paid unless someone comes out to see us,” said Kennedy.
“Am I going to be able to do this when this is all done still? I think I am, but I can’t help but having a little anxiety around that.”
Even pre-pandemic, live music was already struggling.
They were competing with cheaper DJ’s, and now with finances tighter than ever, when the clubs open back up, it’s not set in stone the live music will be back too.
“I definitely am concerned that some of those places are going to say we can’t take a risk on that live music anymore,” said Kennedy.