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Crowds fill Louisville music halls while COVID spread stalls

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:33 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jack Harlow’s “No Place Like Home” tour presale tickets sold out in minutes, highlighting the demand for live music in Louisville.

During the pandemic, music venues canceled or moved shows outside, but now that temperatures have dropped, five local venues, all stops on Harlow’s tour, will require proof of vaccination or a negative test before entry.

Harlow’s smallest stage, Zanzabar, has a maximum capacity of 350 people. Antz Wetting, the bar’s co-owner, said the pandemic pains aren’t gone, but they’re getting better.

“The music venues were known as the first to close and the last to open,” Wetting said. “Everybody working gives this place its buzz, you know what I mean? Just the hustle and bustle keeps everybody going.”

Paristown Hall, another Harlow stop, is the only venue requiring masks to be worn at all times. Kentucky Performing Arts spokesperson Christian Adelberg said that the choice was made because of an obligation to keep the community healthy.

“First and foremost it’s for the safety of our guests and artists,” Adelberg said. “This is the direction the entertainment industry is going.”

At Zanzabar, masks were recommended, but not required. During a concert Thursday, staff wore face coverings, but very few masks were in the audience. One concertgoer, who wished to be unnamed, said she avoided places that still had the requirement.

“I’m so over those dirty things,” she said. “I’m vaccinated, so I’m good.”

University of Louisville Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Burns said wearing a mask, even if vaccinated, can help prevent the spread of COVID to unvaccinated people. He offered advice to people wanting to go to indoor shows.

“With standing room only crowds, you may want to actually not be standing room only,” Burns said. “Try to maintain distance. I would recommend that even if you’re fully vaccinated, for an indoor venue, that you should wear a mask.”

The first performance of Harlow’s tour is Dec. 14 at the Palace Theatre.

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