GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Show after show, and event after event was cancelled in the Upstate because of COVID-19, but now the governor is giving the green light to start some of those back up again.
The governor’s announcement that concerts can continue should have been music to the ears of venue owners.
“In all honesty, there’s still an uncertainty there that feel of coming into an enclosed social gathering,” David Stone, owner of Swanson’s, said.
Swanson’s is a speakeasy style, live music spot in downtown Greenville.
“We were starting to really kind of pick it up and then all of this hit and now we’re kind of a big question mark,” Stone said.
Stone and his booking manager, Brooks Sixon, said the announcement was positive but leaves a lot of work to be done.
“How can we make people coming feel comfortable so that they want to come back? How can we make musicians feel comfortable?” Dixon said.
Events are getting the go-ahead too. Previous to the governor’s announcement, food and wine festival “Euphoria” found a way forward.
“This year, unfortunately, we won’t be able to host our larger more signature events- just our intimate events,” executive director Morgan Allen said.
Allen said the ticketed event makes it easier to control masking and social distancing.
“We’ve kept our spirits high and really thought through how to make the best of this year,” Allen said.
Meanwhile, events like Fall for Greenville and Artisphere have cancelled and moved to virtual festivals instead.
“Things are changing weekly, we have to be adaptive already in the events industry but this year has definitely been more challenging,” Allen said.
And for spots like Swanson’s, reopening is still part of the unknown.
“When we do open, that it’s at least giving comfort to those as guests and customers and musicians,” Stone said.
Swanson’s is working to pursue an outdoor venue option for proper social distancing. They’ll be able to do this thanks to a grant from the county meant to help businesses impacted by coronavirus.
The Peace Center said it hopes to resume events after Labor Day.
The state guidelines can be found here.