Live music has always been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of dancing in the grass while a local band played late into the night. My dad was a rockstar back in his day so I was always carted around to different venues to listen to the band.
As I got older, the love only got stronger. I’ve spent hours standing in line for a chance to be as close to the stage as possible.
One time that meant facing the bitter Wisconsin winter for nine hours as me and my friends took turns running to the car to warm up.
Now that venues have started opening, live music is part of my life again. On Halloween, I saw Turnover play in Chicago, opened by Widowspeak and Temple of Angels.
It was electric to stand in front of the stage as my chest buzzed along with the bass. The lights were bright and reflected the mood of each song as the crowd sang each song.
As exciting as it is that concerts are back, there are important things to consider before attending. Each venue will have different rules regarding vaccination or negative COVID tests.
Thalia Hall, where I was at, required a picture of your vaccination card along with your I.D. to ensure everything lined up. Showing a negative COVID test was not an option.
When checking out my card, the bouncer kept looking at the card and back at me, confused. “No second dose?” he said. After I pointed out that I got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, he patted me on the back saying I was all good to go.
My vaccination card and I.D. combo got checked at least two other times before I was able to get into the venue.
While it was very thorough where I went, not every venue will be like that. When venues only require a negative test, it can be much easier to forge.
Then as an event gets bigger, the chances of everything being double-
checked become much lower.
Even though most places require masks indoors, not everyone will wear one correctly, especially if there’s food and drink readily available. If you’re at an outdoor event, the odds of any masks being worn goes way down.
This was the first time I’ve been to a concert where I wasn’t pushed around during the entirety of it, and I think that people being cautious with staying safe played a part in that.
When you’re deciding whether or not you should attend, safety is an important aspect to consider.
Depending on your level of concern, you should look into the specifics of the venue and rules before visiting. This will give you an idea of what kind of safety measures are being taken.
Looking at the layout can help make decisions too. If you still want to go but don’t want to be around people, there might be balcony seats available so you can keep your distance.
It’s great that live music is back for all to enjoy, but it’s important to put safety of yourself and others first.