PHOENIX — In a non-pandemic year, Arizona venues would filling with crowds of people ready to cheers and party. This year however, those traditionally larger celebrations will sit quiet.
For the Arizona live events industry, 2020’s New Year’s Eve is unlike any other. Viviana Cumplido-Wilson, the principal flutist with the Phoenix Symphony, says her New Year's Eve will be very quiet for the first time in her career.
“It’s definitely unusual for us to not be ringing in the new year in front of a big audience," Cumplido-Wilson said.
“The energy of Decadence is outstanding, everybody is really ending the year on a high note there, so I’m really sad it’s not happening this year," Turner said.
2020 live events cancellations that started in March continue as we wrap the year and kick off 2021.
“We were the first businesses to close down, we’re going to be the last businesses to reopen," Stephen Chilton, Rebel Lounge Owner said.
Chilton also helped lobby for the Save our Stages Act, which includes independent venues and promoters in the most recent COVID-19 Relief Bill.
“Hopefully all venues will be able to survive this and last because we’re still looking at months until shows return," Chilton said.
The entertainment industry though, is not one size fits all in a pandemic. Michael Zimmerlich sees a lot as the president of 8020 Records.
“Everyone has been impacted in different ways, both financially and emotionally, because a lot of artists thrive on the live performance," Zimmerlich said.
Cumplido-Wilson says she's been furloughed with no pay. There’s a gofundme for her and other Phoenix Symphony musicians.
While no one can say for sure when it will be safe for the big parties and performances to return, these creatives are still thinking outside of the box.
“We’ve been playing at hospitals," Cumplido-Wilson said. "We’ve been playing at food banks.”
“We did some pod shows this year," Turner said.
“I turned my lounge into a coffee shop”
"Because we're operating as a coffee shop, and a restaurant with food, very different from what New Year's normally is," Chilton said.