March 22, 2023

New Orleans Struggles to Allow Live Music Amidst Virus

As Louisiana enters into Phase 2 of reopening, live music will once again be allowed in clubs and indoor venues. New Orleans hesitates to hop on the bandwagon, however.

“Unlike southwest Louisiana where there’s a lot of guitars and basses, here we have trumpets and saxophones that spray droplets in the air,” says New Orleans musician David Torkanowsky. “We have singers that spray droplets in the air. So, our clubs in New Orleans, specifically are more petri dishes than they are entertainment venues.”

Louisiana club guidelines are strict. Venues must place a minimum of 12 feet between performers and audience members. Clubs must also have HVAC systems that cycle new air into the building at least six times per hour. “Business owners must apply to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for approval in conjunction with the state Department of Health” [4WWL].

Many of New Orleans’ venues are dance clubs. With these new guidelines, dancing will not be allowed. Audience members will listen to music in a socially-distanced environment, similar to how restaurants are currently operated.

Let’s just hope that this jazz hub of America , which is a central hub for music culture, can fully recover soon.


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