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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Live Music Died; Now What? Santa Barbara Venues Speak Up


It’s October 12, 2019. You hit the hair salon in the morning, picked a new ’fit on State Street. Dined at Los Agaves, tipping big for the tasty mole. Called up the babysitter, who you’ll pay a little extra for overtime. And at last, you arrive at the Santa Barbara Bowl for a Bob Dylan concert. Now multiply that one ticket holder’s spending by 4,500 — the seating capacity at the Bowl — and the ripple effect loss in revenue reverberates through the community.


“Concerts are very high-risk places [for transmitting the coronavirus]. You could sit down at a restaurant and there’s social distancing, but how do you really manage social distancing in a bar,” said Beloin. “What opening might look like is seating 25 people on the patio for an intimate acoustic show.” He noted a nightclub in South Korea that became another epicenter for coronavirus transmission as a lesson to be learned.


“I’m kind of glad we’re not open right now. When I was last in [downtown] Santa Barbara, I felt like it was mostly tourists, and I’m not ready to be responsible for a bunch of people’s health,” said Hansen.


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