The concert scene was heavy in the Ybor city section of Tampa, Fl. If you wanted to hear some good music all you had to do was walk by the Ritz Ybor and lookup at the lineup for the rest of week to know which date to keep open. All genres, from upcoming artists to seasoned veterans had touched the stage of the Legendary Ritz until the Covid-19(pandemic). Covid has changed the entire landscape of night life all together.
Covid-19 has affected the music venues in Tampa, as bars began to open slowly, the music venue has remained temporarily closed until further notice. This has been a damper for concert goers. Ritz Ybor, Brass Mugg, Orpheum, all temporarily closed due to Covid. Whiskey North is a bar a grill that holds concerts but currently only serving food and drinks since the re-open.
(links to venue below)
Tampa is integrated with different musically cultures, from country, to rap, to reggaeton. Any night of the week you could catch a different vibe If you wanted to. Thanks to Covid, you are better off streaming all your music until further notice.
It has been difficult to bounce back for those venues that are primarily for music. Covid-19 has affected the music venues in Tampa as well as the alcohol regulations around the city, and moste concert venues have no other source of income besides ticket sales and may close permanently.
The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, which is a Staple in the Bay for Live Nation concerts had their summer lined up with concerts dated up to August, but unfortunately had to post pone all of their shows back in March when the Pandemic first hit.
From Cher, Tool, Brooks & Dunn, Hasley, Santana, Earth Wind & Fire to Guns N’ Roses (August 15 cancelation) all have been canceled thus far. Some whispers say September has not been counted out as concert re-launch.
The entire Bay area has been affected, St. Petersburg which across the water, just a 20 minute ride over the bridge, is a known for its party scene and holding major concerts, has also had a difficult time trying to re-spark its night life.
I reached out to (The Ritz Ybor) get an insider’s perspective on how the pandemic has affected daily operations of how a venue to deal with refunds. I didn’t get a personal response before publishing this article but in the Creative Loafing Tampa https://www.cltampa.com/ there is an excerpt from a St. Pete promoter acknowledging the finances and addressed that “any refunds of canceled shows who be available at point of purchase”.
Where do we go from here? If you are like me and itching to catch show and sweat the entire set, lets keep our fingers crossed and hope the stars align in time, and Covid somehow disappears. Recent stats have shown a decline in the cases and an incline in survivors. New York City is less than 1%, and the virus has slowed down across the country, leaving us optimistic about September. Who knows maybe we can get to rock out sooner than later! I believe Tampa’s venues will bounce back stronger than ever and soon artists that would not come to Tampa will now be waiting to rock the cities legendary stages.
Stay tuned for what is to come regarding concerts, as things are forever changing. Tap into The Fusion Press for the latest music related updates in your area.