The doors are about to reopen at a handful of Tampa Bay concert venues.
Several clubs of varying sizes have announced plans to reopen for limited events this month, from DJs this weekend in Ybor City to one big-name act, the Bellamy Brothers, in a few weeks.
It’s part of Phase 2 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s plans to reopen various businesses, including bars, bowling alleys and movie theaters.
When Phase 2 was announced last week, that left little time for most venues to scramble and reopen. That confusion led to the Ritz Ybor briefly announcing plans to reopen last weekend, then quickly delete its posts when it realized it might not be ready. But the Ritz will have DJs performing Friday and Saturday, operating at 50 percent capacity, with face masks encouraged and temperature checks at the door.
Down the street in Ybor City, Crowbar is planning a two-weekend reopening celebration featuring more than a dozen artists in all. Performing June 20 will be FayRoy, Aych, Sam E. Hues, QueenofEx, Lauris Vidal, Shawn Kyle, Mountain Holler and DJ Sandman. Performing June 27 will be Have Gun, Will Travel; Will Quinlan and the Holy Slow Train; Tribal Style; Bangarang; Mike Mass; Acho Brother; Kristopher James; and DJ Qeys. On June 28, Crowbar’s Ol’ Dirty Sundays will return with DJs including Fader, Deacon, Lesage, Casper and more.
At the moment, admission to the June 20 and 27 shows is limited to those who donated to support Crowbar’s staff during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Crowbar owner Tom DeGeorge said the club will operate at half capacity for the time being. They’ve altered their floor plan to accommodate better social distancing, and will post “new normal rules” at the front door.
“Basically for the next few months or until there’s a vaccine, we will expect people to respect the new normal and watch the concert safely,” he said. “No crowd surfing, moshing, etc.; temperature checks at the front door; limited contact inside; disposable everything; sanitation stations throughout the bar.”
The biggest show this month may come at the Dallas Bull, where Pasco County’s own Bellamy Brothers will take the stage June 26. The Bellamys are among the few national acts based in Tampa Bay, enabling them to book a local show at one of their favorite venues — although they also played a socially distanced show in Missouri in late May.
“We’ve been locked up in the house a long time,” Howard Bellamy said in a video, “so y’all come on out, and we’re going to have fun.”
While details on fan rules at the Dallas Bull have not yet been announced, tickets are now on sale for $10 and up. Click here for details.
Some restaurants have been able to book performers for a few weeks, but these represent some of the first shows that actual concert venues have taken to restart the music.
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The first socially distanced concert in Tampa Bay arrives Thursday, when Greg Billings will perform an intimate set for about 80 fans in Ruth Eckerd Hall’s grand lobby. That show, and four others like it, sold out quickly.
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