Shows return to Memorial Auditorium, Walker Theater this week
When the first notes of George Thorogood’s guitar sound inside the Walker Theater on Tuesday evening at around 7:30 p.m., they will be the first heard in the building since the Heartstrings concert at the Memorial Auditorium on March 10, 2020, and Marc Broussard’s performance on March 12, 2020 in the Walker, which is upstairs.
Tivoli Foundation executive director Nick Wilkinson said the recent increase in COVID-19 cases is making everyone in the live music industry think in “real time and policies are now subject to change. , but we plan to move forward and ask people to make good decisions and follow CDC guidelines. “
The foundation emailed customers on Saturday saying it recommends people attending shows wear a mask when not eating or drinking, and that the situation is fluid and could change from a show. to the other.
On Friday, the Moon River Festival in September in Chattanooga and the Railbird Festival in Lexington, Ky. In late August, both held by Live Nation, one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, announced that all attendees will be required to present a proof of vaccination or a negative test result to attend.
Live Nation also produces or owns a number of tours and locations across the country, and on Friday afternoon it announced that all of its shows will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter. As of October 4, all Live Nation employees across the country must be vaccinated to work in its offices or even to enter any of its events or locations.
The Tivoli Foundation reserves and promotes most of its own shows, but Wilkinson has said that for any show booked at Memorial, Tivoli or Walker, “the act or tour requirements will trump our policies.”
Thorogood did not place any additional warrant on his show, but Wilkinson said: “We ask that where people can, please wear a mask when moving around the building.”
Theresa Caputo, author and “psychic medium” who will perform in the auditorium on Friday, demands that people wear masks, as she will on stage and when she enters the audience.
Wilkinson said all staff at the Tivoli Foundation have been vaccinated and must show proof.
“It gives us some control in the front and back of the house,” he said. “And, we will continue to have hand sanitizers throughout the building.”
Thorogood and Caputo both said in interviews this week that they are ready and excited to come back and do shows, and that safety is a priority.
“We did our first show last week and received a fantastic reception,” Thorogood said.
He said he hoped the pandemic had raised people’s awareness of being safe and healthy.
“I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I never took health for granted.” And the “Bad to the Bone” singer said, “Now if people have to distance themselves, that’s fine, but people have been keeping their distance from me for a long time.”
Caputo said she spent the first part of the year doing podcasts and later outdoor shows where fans sat in pods to ensure distance. Since moving indoors, she has added safety measures for her crew, such as face covers and distancing. The two said their forward teams are working with the various sites they will be visiting to discuss security measures.
“We want to make sure everyone is safe,” Caputo said.
Wilkinson said the same, pointing out that the situation is fluid and could change at almost any time.
The city-owned Memorial and Walker sites are managed by the Tivoli Foundation and were closed by then-mayor Andy Berke due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and have been dormant since. Wilkinson said, however, that both sites had undergone a lot of deep cleaning and renovations and officials were ready to show it off. The Tivoli Foundation also oversees the Tivoli Theater. He has shown films to a limited audience in recent months, but has not had a concert or live performance.
Those restrictions have been lifted and Mayor Tim Kelly has said the Tivoli Foundation, as an independent council, can make its own decisions on policies and guidelines regarding security measures related to COVID-19.
Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.