Fascinating music

For NEO concert halls, COVID-19 concerns still make the difference

CLEVELAND – Whether it’s a rock and roll show at the Grog Shop or a classic performance at Severance Hall, the energy of live music is infectious.

“This is my happy place,” said Nicole Newman, who attended the Grog Shop’s Nada Surf concert Monday night.

André Gremillet is the president of the Cleveland Orchestra. He said it was an incredible feeling to find the orchestra at Severance Hall again.

“Whatever the music, listening to good live music is really essential for people,” he said.

The Cleveland Orchestra requires that guests present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of entering the venue. Users must also wear masks.

The protocol is similar to other sites in the region.

“We’ve had very, very little perspective, especially from our viewers and repeat customers, and I think we did a pretty good job communicating with them before the first performances,” said Gremillet.

The Cleveland Orchestra even demanded that all of Severance Hall’s more than 100 employees and musicians be vaccinated. Gremillet said that since the start of the fall season everything has been going well. But said worries about COVID-19 may still play a role.

“It’s one of our winds or brass that has tested positive,” he said.

The Cleveland Orchestra canceled two shows this weekend due to the musician’s positive test.

“It was a revolutionary infection, which we know occurs, which is why we put these protocols in place,” said Gremillet.

He hopes the protocol shows spectators that they are safe inside the facility.

“It shows you how seriously we take the health of our players, our staff and, of course, our audience. It is very important for us to know that when people show up, in Severance and in our concert hall, they are in as safe an environment as possible.

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