top of page

Covid and Live Shows--Neumos in Seattle, in a Pandemic: COVID Is 'Not Going Away'

As co-owner of Seattle's popular independent venue Neumos in Capitol Hill, Steven Severin has been a staple in the Seattle music industry for more than 20 years.

He shares, I saw the tracing from the Watershed country festival in Washington and they came up with 200 cases that came from it. It was 25,000 people so that was 1% and they weren’t required to be vaccinated. That crowd is also less likely to be vaccinated, so that’s not bad. The numbers are way lower than I would have thought. There wasn’t a mask to be seen anywhere. The new thing that I am seeing is the PCR test being required in addition to vaccination to see a show. I think that is going to be the step that is too far. Because it is already a problem. It is a problem in hip-hop and urban shows. Across the country, hip-hop shows are cancelling, and numbers aren’t what they would normally be. Same for dance nights. There is a very good reason for the BIPOC community to not trust the government and vaccines, so the numbers are going to be down.

For a lot of shows, there are going to be enough people who will pass [rather than take a PCR test] and the margins are already so small that I think this is the step too far. The announcement follows Live Nation’s Aug. 6 news that they would encourage the artists they work with to require vaccination proof or proof of a negative test at their shows. Live Nation plans to offer support for artists who want to implement the mandates in states where it is permitted. According to Ballotpedia, there are 20 states in the country that have prohibited proof-of-vaccination requirements.

We will watch the space to see what happens with live events and festivals going forward. Artists cannot hold back any longer. It's time for more LIVE MUSIC!


bottom of page