Victoria’s live music scene will bounce back after pandemic, says industry

Victoria's live music scene will bounce back after pandemic, says industry
WatchIt's a big blow to live music. Logan's Pub, Victoria's alternative music institution, is closing its doors because of COVID-19. But some musicians say live music will return after the pandemic.

Logan’s Pub has been a pillar of local live music in Victoria for the past few decades.

“I had bookings till Halloween next year,” said Mihkel Kaup, the booking agent for Logan’s Pub.

“They’re just all gone, just gone.”

The latest casualty of COVID-19, Logan’s Pub — the heart, and soul of Fernwood and North Park, which gave so many so-called “misfits” a home, is now closing. 

“It’s a room I can’t fill right now, and I don’t know what the future looks like,” said Kaup.

Logan’s Pub was a champion of alternative music, open to all genres, and all people.

And it’s closure leaves a big void for many.

“Logan’s is a very big part of the scene because it’s where so many of the bands in town start,” said Michael Cline who owns Vinyl Envy, a record shop and music venue in Victoria.

Logan’s gave Kistina Helene her start back when she was 19.

“The first time I went there, I had just moved here for school. I didn’t know anybody,” said Helene.

“One night I decided to take a chance on the bus, and I said if this person gets off the bus at Logan’s, I’m going to go in and sing.”

As fate had it, someone stepped off the bus, and so did she.

“They were so encouraging to me, to just allow me to share my voice,” said Helen.

“I’ve sung at pretty much every hotel in the city now, but it all started at that little spot in Logan’s.”

And many agree, Logan’s unique “come as you are” attitude, will be hard to replace.

“Honestly it feels like losing a piece of me, in a way,” said longtime patron Athanasia Siorai NicPháidĂ­n.

“It was more than just a pub, or just a bar, or just Logan’s tavern. It was a community.”

The pandemic has been crushing for many musicians and the venues where they play.

But even prior to COVID-19, Victoria’s music scene was seeing losses, with live music venues like Copper Owl and Northern Quarter closing.

Meanwhile, in the pandemic, live streams online are keeping many musicians afloat, as the venues seem to fold like cards.

But many in the industry say local music and musicians have been quietly staying afloat.

“The future [live music] scene is going to be as strong or stronger if I’m honest with you. I think venues will pop back up when COVID is over,” said Cline.

And also sticking around? Likely live streaming.

“Artists can actually make money from their living rooms if they know how to do it professionally, and they’re learning fast and it’s just an added element to my story that I’m probably going to do regardless,” said Cline.

In the meantime, Logan’s Pub remains closed. But the people behind its unique counter-culture are optomistic.

“We’re still here. Without the building we’re still here,” said Kaup.

“I have faith that there’s something to look forward to.”

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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