Local businesses implement COVID-19 security policies to help Tulsa’s music scene

TULSA, Okla – Changes are coming for some live music events.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the live music industry.

Many local artists suffered significant losses due to the closure. Now some are doing all they can to keep the industry they love from having another shutdown.

Joey Duffy is the vocalist for a local Tulsa band called Cliffdiver.

“It’s a local saxophone, emo, pop, rock band,” he said.

His band is one of the hundreds that are part of Tulsa’s music industry. They perform at local venues that support local artists, like Mercury Lounge.

“It’s a pretty stressful time to be a musician,” said Duffy.

Duffy tells 2 News that in 2020 the pandemic canceled all their tours. He said they suffered a total loss as a result of the shutdown. Albums and video clips were still being recorded, but no income was coming in.

They worked hard to try to recover, but he said it hadn’t been easy.

Cliffdiver is trying to book tours for the fall, but with the new wave of COVID-19 cases he is worried.

“I know another shutdown would be crippling for Tulsa’s music industry,” Duffy said.

With the increase in cases here in Oklahoma, some of the local business owners in Green Country are implementing new COVID-19 policies in an effort to help provide a safer live music experience for customers and bands. .

The next time you go to the Mercury Lounge to listen to live music, tickets won’t be the only thing you’ll be asked for at the door.

Those working at the door will ask customers to present their vaccination card or a photocopy of it. People who choose not to be vaccinated must show proof of a negative test to enter.

Co-owner Bobby Orcutt has said he doesn’t want to turn anyone away, which is why they will have rapid tests available on site for anyone who needs to be tested.

These policies are only in effect for live music events held at the Mercury Lounge.

“At the Mercury Lounge, when you come to a show, when you go to check in at the gate, when you check in with the doorman, you will be asked to present a copy of your vaccination card or a photocopy of it. , or proof of negative test within the past 72 hours, along with your ticket to the show, ”Orcutt said.

Orcutt said their goal is to keep people safe and healthy, and to prevent the live music industry from shutting down.

“No one wants to go on stage and feel like they’re making people sick; we don’t want to promote shows that ask people to come out and get together with the feeling that we’re making people sick. something we want or want to do, ”Orcutt said.

He said he was aware of other markets where artists have canceled shows with venues that have not implemented these COVID-19 security policies.

“I think it’s really important that venues take that step forward, and I think for bands it will be important for us to be aware of where we choose to play. safety seriously, ”Duffy said.

They have been applying these policies for a few days now. Orcutt said that so far, the response from people has been positive.

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