ROCKPORT — Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Rockport Music has canceled all its scheduled concerts for the 2020 season.
The current plan in place, according to Rockport Music President and CEO Tony Beadle, is to have concerts start up again at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in March 2021. However, like all things during the pandemic, this start date is up in the air.
"Rockport Music wishes to maintain the safety and health of our patrons, staff, volunteers and artists, which made this the only decision possible at this time," according to a press release sent out by the organization. "Rockport Music leadership looks forward to re-opening in Spring 2021 or whenever state leaders and the CDC determine it is safe to do so."
Originally, Rockport Music had scheduled famed actor and singer/songwriter Jeff Daniels, alt-rockers 10,000 Maniacs and hometown hero Paula Cole to play this fall. These concerts and 12 others are now listed as "Postponed" on rockportmusic.com. Tickets are not being sold now for any of these events.
"Postponed means we plan on rehiring the artist at a later time," said Beadle. "We're committed to having them and hosting them at Rockport. We just don't know when yet."
While in-person concerts are put on pause, Rockport Music's new virtual concert series, Concert View, has been making waves online.
"They're usually about 40 minutes each," Beadle explained. "The artist either does a performance from their home or come to our hall to and we video them. (The in-hall concerts are) all done with social distancing and everyone's safe. We've had no less than three of our people there at a time, sometimes four, and they're in another room running the video equipment."
The next concert in the series, featuring the Rum Runners String Band, is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. on rockportmusic.com, Youtube and Facebook. Every Concert View show is free to stream.
"It's our gift to the community," said Beadle.
Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or firstname.lastname@example.org.