Long-silenced Tucson stages see glimmer of hope to reignite live music scene | Caliente | tucson.com

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Emily Platt, the box office manager of the Fox Tucson Theater at 17 Congress Street, wrote on the sign that there was an advertisement for cooking in the theater. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fox Tucson Theater has been closed.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fox Tucson Theater at 17 W Capitol Street in Tucson, Arizona has been closed. December 16, 2020.

When the COVID-19 cloud rises and is blocked for a long time

Reopening to audiences and artists, Executive Director Bonnie Schock believes that in the nearly 1,200-seat historical theater, her staff and audience will be full of emotions.

Shock, who led Fox through the flu pandemic, said: "It feels very hard to get back there in a few days." "It will be an extraordinary emotional release to reach this point, and I think it is also correct for the audience."

But a few months will not pass that day. Shaw, who took over Fox a few days before the city and state officials ordered the company to shut down, said she expects Fox to return to live concerts before the end of summer or early fall.

Glenn Grabski, executive director of the Tucson Convention Center, stands by the box office at 260 Church Street. The conference center is undergoing renovation when it is closed.

Glenn Grabski, Executive Director

Said it might even be later than that.

He said: "I think most of the big movers are focusing on the fall, maybe the end of the fall, the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter." "I think some of our entry prices reflect this."

All seats in the Tucson Concert Hall at 260 Church Street will be replaced as part of the renovation of the music venue.

With the launch of the first COVID vaccine last week, venue operators in Tucson are finally optimistic about seeing the performance on stage and the fans sitting in their seats. Since the shutdown in March, most areas have been dark. When the state government lifted the closure order in May and allowed companies to reopen with limited production capacity, most concert venues in the city kept their lights off. Most people say that limiting the capacity to 25% is not feasible for the venue to break even.

"If you think about it in this way, we may be one of the first industries to close, and we will be the last to reopen," said Kip Volpe, president of the industry.

. "Finally died."

The shutdown has severely damaged live entertainment venues, such as

, The company had to fire all salaried employees including long-term executive director Curtis McCrary in September. Volpe has taken over daily operations, and the foundation has contracted out work that the volunteer committee could not complete. The non-profit theater located at 318 E. Congress St. relies on COVID relief funds and its donors to make ends meet.

In April, this historic downtown theater launched the "Fantasy Concert Lineup" fundraising event, allowing donors to create their own Final Fantasy concert lineup and advertise on Rialto's marquee. Since then, this effort has evolved into The Marquee Project, a collaboration with the KXCI community radio station, allowing you to donate $500, post the concert lineup or special messages on the subtitles for five days, and then broadcast it on KXCI Out.

The Rialto Theatre at 318 Congress Street was closed for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September, the theater fired all paid staff.

Rialto communications coordinator Lara Ruggles said: "That must be something that helps us pay for it," he added, adding that Rialto also received $18,000 from Jim Click.

lottery. According to the organizers, the sweepstakes raised more than $1 million and benefited 294 charities in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Last week, the Rialto Foundation learned that the city’s "

Fund by

. The program provides a grant of up to $50,000 for the venue; the award amount takes into account the funds received by the venue from the federal government-funded early urban CARES grant.

Xiaoke said that the Fox Tucson Theatre at 17 W. Congress St. also received a $40,000 award from the latest funding program.

The stadium hopes that the money will help them keep the lights on for longer.

Lost date

some days ago

It is forbidden to hold 50 or more gatherings on March 17, and a large number of artists across the city quit concerts. Texas singer and lyricist

He was the first person to unplug during the Rialto March 10 performance on March 21st.

In consideration of Fox's performance on March 29, the company gave in due to concerns about isolation after traveling from India. In the following days,


, UA gift (now


After the venues (Tucson Music Hall and Centennial Hall) closed, everyone cancelled the rest of their season.

On the day Romero banned large gatherings, the venue led by the Fox Tucson Theater and Rialto was suspended. The plan had been suspended for three weeks, but the three weeks turned into several months. The only downtown venue to reopen is the Congress Hotel, which moved live performances to an outdoor plaza stage on October 1st, creating a social venue with disinfection stations and providing three weekly events for a limited audience Concert Series: Tucker Tuesday and

, Soul Food on Wednesday and Blues&BBQ on Sunday afternoon, all programs are created by local artists.

Canyon Currents is part of the Taco Tuesdays band, and the outdoor activities in the Rhythm & Roots series that began in October are held at Hotel Congress. The series was recently discontinued.

"We are very satisfied with their passing, and we are very satisfied with our COVID agreement," said David Slutes, Director of Entertainment at the Hotel Congress. "We think we are doing well, people are enjoying it and feeling safe."

But as the COVID numbers in Pima County started to rise again in December, Taco's Tuesday series has been discontinued. Slutes said that despite the recent cold weather, Wednesday and Sunday events are still taking place despite the decline in attendance.

People are excited to hear live music. Some people say they are scared, but once they experience it, they feel safe. "Susan Holden said she organized concerts for the long-running Rhythm & Roots series of concerts founded by her late husband in 1998. "Some of these bands have not performed for eight months. Some people didn't even rehearse, so when they jumped onto the stage, they were very excited. "

But Holden said she is concerned about the recent surge in COVID cases. For safety reasons, when the couple of Catherine Burns and Ryan Alfred unplugged the sweet ghost performance on December 8, Horton decided to also postpone the remaining December concerts.

"This is difficult (hard. You want people to come out. You want the band to make a living, but if people are uncomfortable, you don't want them to come out." Horton said. "This is a good line."

She added: "I hope maybe we will come back to live broadcast in February, but it really depends on the advice of Pima County and health professionals."

At the same time, Holden said that she is considering the proposal of hosting live concerts through ethnic behavior.

Baby steps on the hill

Several venues in Tucson resumed live music performances this fall, including

, Is a small university site located at 136 Park Avenue in the North District of the University of Arizona, and

, Located at 5851 E. Speedway, which can accommodate 1,200 people, formerly Club XS.

Rock reopened some events in October, attracting a lot of spectators, well below the COVID agreement limit of 50 out of the venue’s 240 seats. The history of The Rock officials can be traced back to the early 1970s when it was The Stumble Inn. They stated that it has been an arduous effort to occupy 20 to 30 seats in most shows.

The owner, Kent Van Stelle, said he believes that part of the reason is that people are still unwilling to return to normal life. When we reached the other end of the pandemic, he thought his residence would be significantly different from many small places in the area.

He said: "It will definitely not be the same." "We don't know where this is going."

When he decided to resume live events after Thanksgiving, Encore owner Randy James had to reconfigure the Sponge Club as a sitting venue. In his first performance with Phoenix rock singers Metalhead and Drop D, he set up 250 social distancing seats and about 200 people attended.

He said: "I think we are all turned away at the moment."

When Tucson recently imposed a curfew at 10 pm, James suspended until the end of this month, when he will host Tucson native Pablo Francisco on December 27, which is his first hometown comedy performance in 20 years. James believes that even if the curfew still exists, the performance will end before the curfew, but his New Year’s Eve activities with Tucson worship bands "Scorpions" and "Jack" (AC/DC) may be a bit tricky; these two shows The performances start at 8 pm, which may be far past the 10 pm deadline.

Juliana Murphy (left), Stuart Oliver and Luci Figueroa perform at a Thursday night live singer concert at Monterey Court The first three individual performances.

Optimistic house

Located at 505 W. Miracle Mile was one of the first venues to resume live performances. After closing since March, the first venue was held on August 18. Owner Kelly McLear (Kelly McLear) recalled that the attendance on Tuesday night was encouraging, and the latter co-operated the restaurant/venue with her husband, Greg Haver.

The outdoor plaza was quickly booked for brunch service every Saturday night and Sunday morning. McCearly said, but it is not easy. The biggest obstacle is finding bands and artists to play.

McClier said: "One of the reasons we postponed to August is that it is difficult to find performers who are willing to play."

This problem also hinders

Location: E. Speedway 4915, the restaurant resumed live entertainment on its spacious terrace in mid-October.

"Due to "panic", the only locals who will compete here are

And I have my own family band (Timeframe), which will perform two nights a week. "John Bujak and his business partner Judith Bard have owned the venue for nearly four years. "We welcome any local behavior to participate. "

On most nights, Monterey Court fills almost every of its 125 terrace seats, which is half of the non-COVID capacity, and both guests and artists have followed the agreement, which includes setting up mandatory masks and disinfection stations throughout the terrace .

"We don't have any chance," McClier said. "If you want, we even impose severe penalties on people who don't want to wear masks. Not only will they be asked to leave, but they will also be asked to leave permanently and never return."

So far, they have not imposed the penalty.

When he reopened for the first time, Bujak brought a few Phoenix tribute bands and did not charge an entrance fee "just to restore and replay the live music." The patio did not reach its full capacity of 100 for COVID, but the response was positive.

Bujak said: "It can be done with a little money, which is why he and Bard turned their attention to local bands.

Bujak and McLear said that with the recent surge in the number of COVID cases, curfews in cities and counties and lower night temperatures, finding bands has become more challenging.

"We are ready to go. We comply. We are actually here to heal, waiting for the band and customers to walk through the door."


Bujak believes that artists and listeners will appreciate live music even more before the arrival of spring. But he said that his music friends are not optimistic, and even if the vaccine was introduced last week, the music will not recover soon.

"Some people say that by the end of 2021, we should get rid of the predicament and go alone, but I also have friends in the live music industry, and they are not optimistic. They say that full-scale development will resume in 2022 and 2024." "I hope that by 2021 In March 2015 (one year anniversary), we will at least see some people return to the stage and return to live music."

Bujak is so optimistic that he has planned a celebration, which he calls the "Parade Festival" in Reed Park on March 20. All he was looking forward to was getting city permits.

Schock of Fox Tucson Theatre wants to know what the post-COVID entertainment world looks like. Will the audience be reluctant? Will the artist?

She said: "Everything is uncertain." "What did the first few games back to the room look like? I think people are thirsty and it's nice to be together again to celebrate what we missed."

For Fox, the first concert after the pandemic will feel like a historic evening, similar to the 2006 New Year’s Eve event, which reopened the theater after being closed for 25 years. The reopening was after six years of refurbishment that cost millions of dollars, and the theater was restored to its 1930s glory.

Xiaoke said: "In a sense, no matter what happens, it will give people a sense of grand opening." "And I will cry because I am a cryer."

TCC's Grabski said that he is encouraged by recent research that shows that viewers are eager to return to live entertainment venues.

He said: “People’s requests to go out to participate in all kinds of activities, from live music to movies and even sports shows, are suppressed.” “Are you worried, will people come back? They will feel comfortable coming back soon. The overall feeling is It will rebound, and it will rebound seriously. It's just a matter of time."

Grabski said that the Tucson Road Runners hockey team may return to the ice in February, and he hopes they can start hosting some events after July 1.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch

. On Twitter: @Starburch

, 17 W. Congress St., foxtucson.com; 547-3040.

: Israeli singer and lyricist David Broza will broadcast a live concert at the City Winery on Wednesday, December 23 at 6 pm to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his "Not Exactly Christmas Show" . 


Rialto Theater, 318 Congress Street, 


A live broadcast of the Alabama Blind Boys Christmas show on Wednesday, December 23 at 7 pm; $18 to

: You can donate to non-profit theaters or purchase Rialto equipment and gifts through the following channels

The Congress Hotel, 311 Capitol Street

; 622-8848.

: After the holidays, live music on the Soul Food Festival every Wednesday and the Blues&BBQ Exhibition Plaza on Sundays will resume. Limited audience and COVID-19 agreements, including social distancing and mandatory masks. 

Home to the Tucson Convention Center, Tucson Arena, Tucson Concert Hall and Rio Rich Theater (250 S. Church Ave.),

; 791-4101.

There are no upcoming events. 

Desert Diamond Casino at 1100 Pima Mine Road


: There are no upcoming events. 

Sun City Casino AVA, 5655 Valencia Road,

; 1-855-765-7829.

 There are no upcoming events; the casino will be closed before January 2, 2021.

, 5851 E. Speedway, facebook.com/encoretucson; 885-3030.

: Comedian Pablo Francisco (Pablo Francisco), Sunday, December 27 at 7 p.m.; ticket prices start at $12.50

• At 7pm on December 31st, New Year’s Eve and the Scorpions paid tribute to the band Animal Magnetism and AC/DC to pay tribute to The Jack. Tickets start at $14.50

Robert Mason, who won the reputation of Warrant with Drop D at 7pm on January 16th (Saturday); the lowest fare is $8,


• On January 23, Saturday, 8 pm, the ultimate tribute to Wildside, who pays tribute to love, hatred, sex, pain, and Gosmark;

Start early for $6.

, Park North Avenue 136, rocktucson.com; 629-9211 

: Mike Gaube’s Headbangers will perform "Dedwinter Fest 2021" at Dedwin, Fatal Malady, Fire Glass, The Ruin, Not My Master and Nowhere Man at 5pm on January 23. Tickets are $10 in advance through Rocktucson.com, on site Charged $13. Limited availability under the COVID-19 agreement.

, 4915 E Speedway, houseofbards.com; 327-2011.

The family band OnesAll, on January 15, 2021, will hold an open microphone night every week-music performance on Monday and comedy performance on Tuesday.

Invite local bands to perform in the venue. For more information, please contact Judith Bard. 

505 W. Miracle Mile, montereycourtaz.com; 207-2429. It is strongly recommended that you book through the website, and you can also buy tickets on the website. 

: Saturday, December 26, 6 pm, zero mileage is empty; PD Ronstadt & Company, Sunday, December 27, 6 pm ($10); Tuesday, December 29, 6 pm, Steff Kayser and Eric Schaffer ; December 30, Wednesday, 6 pm, Christy Lynn Band (Christy Lynn Band); December 31, 7 pm, celebrate New Year’s Eve with Funk House ($20 including champagne toast at 10 pm , $50 champagne and a four-course dinner). 



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Cathalena has been singing music for the "Star" for the past 20 years. She graduated from Arizona State University and worked for the Sedona Red Rock News in the Sedona Red Rock News in Niagara Falls, New York. . And "USA Today".

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