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NEO concert venues sing the same tune: Show vaccination card or negative COVID test to get inside

COVID-19 vaccination card
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Posted at 11:10 PM, Aug 19, 2021

CLEVELAND — The sound of even a mic check inside an empty Beachland Ballroom and Tavern Thursday night is music to manager Todd Gauman’s ears.

“It’s been thrilling to have audiences back and have the bands back,” he said.

Gauman said just this month, the venue finally opened back to full capacity and a full schedule.

“That’s the sweet spot of having people here and watching a community come together and enjoy a band, enjoy music,” he said.

It’s also a sweet return for bands like Quick Mystery. The bassist of the local band said.

“We’ve been trying to play around any local venue we possibly can,” said bass player Michael Aimes.

The Beachland Ballroom’s Thursday show featured artists Carver Commodore, Quick Mystery and HALLIE. Hannah Ramsey said she was thrilled to be in attendance.

“It’s completely different than listening on your own,” she said. “You have people coming together, you can rock out together. It’s a lot of fun.”

She’s not alone in her love for live music. Anne Harris and a group of friends drove from Buffalo, New York to Akron Thursday to attend the Kings of Leon concert at Blossom Music Center.

“Kings are my favorite band. I’ve traveled to many states to see them and here we are,” she said.

But right when her group got to Akron, she received word that the concert was postponed. A member of the band’s team tested positive for COVID, the group shared to social media.

“We had to get a hotel. We had to buy the tickets. We all had to take off work and, now, there's no show,” she said. “I’m devastated.”

She believes the band and its crew should’ve been tested earlier so the postponement could’ve come with more notice.

“If it could have been five hours earlier, we wouldn't have made the trip and we would have figured it out by then,” said Harris. “But two hours before the gates are going to open, that's kind of short notice.”

Thursday’s postponement at Blossom Music Center, is exactly what Gauman is working to avoid. The Beachland Ballroom, the Agora, Bop Stop, The Foundry Concert Club, Grog Shop, Happy Dog, Jilly’s Music Room, Mahall’s and Music Box Supper Club collaborated to keep performers and concert goers safe.

“It was just trying to figure out a way to be able to sustain some business be able to sustain some musicians,” said Gauman.

Concert goers at those venues will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of entry to get inside the doors.

“We cannot afford to shut down again, none of the venues can,” said Gauman. “A fair number of the shows that we are booking, the requests is coming from the band or from their agents that they would like to have those policies in place to keep everyone safe.”

Harris said it’s a good idea.

“I have a card. I want to go, you know, so do the people who are with me. We are vaccinated,” she said.

Ramsey, also, believes it’s smart.

“I think it’s a great idea that even if you’re uncomfortable getting the vaccine, you can still prove ‘Hey, I don’t have COVID, here are my results’ and show it that way,” she said.

If you have already purchased a ticket at Beachland Ballroom for a concert after Sept. 7, the venue is giving refunds.

RELATED: Kings of Leon postpones Blossom Music Center concert after band team member tests positive for COVID