March 19 – After closing temporarily more than a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of Charlotte’s most popular concert halls, The Evening Muse, plans to reopen in May.
With the increase in vaccine availability and the downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases, founder and co-owner Joe Kuhlmann told the Observer on Friday that he hoped the Muse would reopen in a few months.
“Due to the restrictions still in place, we’ll be tweaking it a bit and providing a more intimate gathering with a limited number of socially distant tables and chairs,” the North Davidson Street concert hall said on social media Friday.
The first show will be Jason Eady with Adam Hood on May 19.
The last show at the venue was hip-hop violinist Rhett Price on March 13 as cases of COVID-19 began to rise and businesses in the city and state began to shut down voluntarily or by order of Governor Roy Cooper .
Cooper could ease Phase 3 restrictions even further next week. The current order expires Friday at 5 p.m.
It is not possible to reopen the site now, under the statewide 30% capacity restriction and the 11 p.m. curfew, Kuhlmann said. The site can accommodate 120 people.
“Our company is conviviality”
The Muse has been helped through programs such as the Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, city rent relief and community support, Kuhlmann said.
The Muse will sell complete tables with four seats each so people can be with others they know. All COVID-19 security protocols, like mask warrants, temperature checks, and hygiene requirements will be followed.
There will be two shows each evening at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
“A big part of our business relies on being together and bringing people together,” Kuhlmann said. “Live music has taken a huge hit.”
Plans of other concert halls
Several other independent Charlotte concert halls also remain closed, including The Visulite on Elizabeth Avenue and Neighborhood Theater, also in NoDa.
Gregg McCraw, owner of Maxx Music and buyer of theater talent, told The Observer on Friday that the limited capacity makes opening impossible. The current crowd limit would put the capacity at a maximum of 75 people.
But McGraw said he is planning a series of outdoor music performances outdoors at Rural Hill on Neck Road in Huntersville this spring and summer until the music can start again indoors. The first “Live Cruise-In Concert” is Tab Benoit and Samantha Fish on April 9th.
“I think we are away until September,” he said.
The Fillmore on Hamilton Street also didn’t host any indoor shows during the pandemic, but did host a Live in the Lot series in the fall with comedy and tribute groups.
The Fillmore, which can hold over 1,300 people, is operated by Live Nation. Global entertainment group assists theater and tour crews with $ 5 million fund, plus up to an additional $ 5 million in matching public donations
“Although there is a little light at the end of the tunnel, after a year without work, many people in our community are struggling more than ever. “The Fillmore said on social media Friday.
The Underground, a stand-alone venue at the Fillmore, has a show date for PVRIS on April 24 on its website.
Amo’s Southend on South Tryon Street has a live show on its online schedule on April 2. Officials did not immediately respond to comments on Friday.
Coyoyte Joe is already reopened
But some venues like Coyote Joe’s Country Music Hall on Wilkinson Boulevard reopened last month after Cooper expanded indoor capacity.
The multi-level venue, known for bringing major country music artists like Blake Shelton and Luke Combs to Charlotte, remained dark for nearly a year.
The site added security measures such as plastic shields to the front door and bar, and social distancing markers. While the biggest artists are not yet on tour, house band, Out of the Blue, perform their opening night every night on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.