Citing COVID-19 surge, Headliners cancels outdoor shows, will make refunds

Headliners Music Hall is canceling a set of three outdoor shows because of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, it said Monday. 

The concerts were supposed to be Headliners’ first in-person events since COVID-19 shut down music venues in Louisville in March. In a Facebook post, Headliners explained the decision came as Jefferson County school officials decided to continue remote, non-traditional instruction learning and the state reported a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases. 

“Part of our responsibility in running these events safely is to take into consideration factors outside of our control that overwhelm our ability to protect customers, artists and staff,” read the Facebook post from Headliners. “In light of the ongoing surge announced Thursday by the Governor that was underscored shortly thereafter with the announcement that JCPS would remain on NTI, we have decided that it is unfortunately necessary to cancel Back2Mac, Jaye Jayle and SMTN To Do scheduled for October 23-25.”

Last Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,260 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 new deaths from the virus.

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“Today is a really hard day. The individuals lost today and their families need our help, need our green lights, and need our bells at 10 a.m. every morning,” said Beshear. “I can’t tell you how painful it is to read 20 entries. We are going to have a lot more days like this if we don’t do better about wearing masks, about social distancing and about following the rules.”

Anyone who bought tickets for the Headliners shows should be automatically refunded. The music venue asked that customers wait two weeks to get their money back as the refund works it way through the system.

Almost two weeks ago, Headliners and other independent Louisville venues, announced that they had created a coalition called Louisville Operating Venues Safely in order to carefully reopen. Headliners’ goal was to book a few outdoor shows before winter weather set in. 

COVID-19 has been particularly devastating to indoor music venues, which are likely to be “the last to reopen,” according to a May letter from Louisville venues, including Headliners, that belong to the  National Association of Independent Venues. NIVA was created to lobby Congress for COVID-19 related financial assistance. Its Save Our Stages Act was added to the House’s coronavirus relief bill, which was passed but has been ignored by the Senate.

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