Atlanta-Based Band 'Rumours' To Play One Of Nation's First Major Concerts Since Pandemic Began
Atlanta's music scene will have its first taste of what concerts could be like in the era of coronavirus when Rumours takes the stage at the Coca-Cola Roxy on Oct. 9.
The Atlanta-based Fleetwood Mac tribute band is no stranger to large venues, making a name for themselves not only in the United States but as a popular touring act abroad in Europe over the past several years.
Vocalist Mekenzie Thrift said they'll be one of the first bands to test the waters in a changed world.
"I think that we are actually the very first in-person show that Live Nation is doing in the entire nation, which is really an honor and also kind of like stupefying," she said. "But we are not messing around with safety protocols."
Thrift said the band's booking agent, in collaboration with Live Nation, the world's leading live entertainment company, has been working to create a "socially distanced" concert experience. The Roxy, which normally has a capacity of 3,600, will only seat 500 attendees at max for the show.
Concert-goers will be told to stay 6 feet apart, be told to wear a mask, and tickets will be sold by table.
The show comes as the live music industry in Georgia, and around the country, has come to a standstill amid the pandemic. The National Independent Venue Association, which represents music spaces around the country, including The Masquerade and Center Stage in Atlanta, has said that financial assistance must happen for the country's music venues to stay open through the pandemic.
Josh Antenucci of Center Stage told GPB News in May without proper financial aid from either the state or federal government, a lot of music venues could perish.
"I think there's a risk for all venues to close," he said. "Until we have some concrete idea of how to reopen safely, we don't even know what to plan for at this point."
Rumours played a smaller show in July at Rock 'N' Taco in Roswell. Thrift and her bandmates were critical of the organizers of the show at the time, saying they refused to implement proper safety protocols, mandate mask wearing or provide the band with a safe and aerated backstage area.
She said she hopes this upcoming show will be different.
"The Roxy is doing everything they can to keep people safe. They are owned by Live Nation," she said. "Live Nation is not going to take any chances of being shut down because folks won’t follow the rules."
She also acknowledged that these new concert experiences will be weird at first.
"It's going to be very, very almost dystopian in a way," she said, "I feel like I don't know if I would want to go to a show right now and have to wear a mask the whole time because there's something so free about watching a band or a deejay or whatever and being able to just sing along and hug your friends."