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COVID-19: The Lost Industry

It has been a minute since we last danced together and I am incredibly disheartened by that. Since the last post, a lot has happened and all of it has to do with the novel Corona Virus. Venues have permanently closed doors, shows have ceased to exist how we knew them, online streaming has skyrocketed and for industry professionals, lives have been completely uprooted. To start, if it has not shown before, hopefully now more than ever people realize how important the arts are to society. While being the first to be cut from school budgets, industry professionals are also realizing that the industry they love is also the last to be assisted during these trying times. As it stands, the industry many knew and worked in is at a stand still. While underground parties are happening, they are pushing the normalcy of large scale events further and further back. America, unfortunately, has handled the virus and its spread terribly. Thus, leaving an industry reliant on crowds to be left in the shadows. Meanwhile, past hot spots in Europe are back to some form of large events happening with proper health standards being upheld. Large cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, are seeing many industry members being forced to leave due to lack of work and a vast unknown about work in the current state. New Orleans, has had its tourist industry decimated as much of it is based around a nightlife/bar scene. Many other cities like Nashville, Austin and others are seeing a similar decline with much of its labor focused on service/nightlife industries. All of this can only be expected to get worse as states are handling the virus in a way they deem fit rather than any national protocol on the virus. What does this mean for the nightlife/service industries? Although unknown, given how there has only been a steady decline it is sadly looking like it may continue that way.

I genuinely do not want to be the Debbie Downer but I feel too many people have begun to get way too relaxed in settings and throwing events. That kind of mentality only pushes us further from the larger goal of getting our venues back to running in any capacity. It only pushes more people into an unknown source of income and as venues lose funding, it is to be expected that all position pre-pandemic will not be staffed the same. These are terrifying times but the industry needs to do what it does best, stick together and help one another. That is how the pandemic started, that is how it was pre-pandemic and it cannot stop now because people are itching to get back to parties. In the coming weeks, I will be compiling resources that are helping displaced industry workers. In the meantime, support the artists, the behind the scenes crews, the operations crews, stage crews and every one in between.

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