Podcast | Is this the end of live music in Seattle?

Journalist Charles R. Cross tells us what live music has done for this city, and what could happen if local venues don’t see any economic relief.

Two musicians perform onstage

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile take the stage at Showbox Market, Oct. 22 2017. This year has seen many venues go dark, some due to the pandemic and some from economic pressures that finally caught up. For those hoping to re-open, it has become clear that crowded spaces with dancing, music and shouting will be some of the last to return post-pandemic. (Amy Mahardy/Crosscut)

When the novel coronavirus took hold in Washington state, live music venues were some of the first businesses to go dark. It made sense. Little was known about the virus then, but it was clear that crowded rooms of people dancing, shouting and singing were not advisable.

Now, as more businesses look forward to opening back up, it has become clear that these venues will be among the last to reopen. When they do reopen, there are likely to be far fewer of them.

On this week's episode of Crosscut Talks, music journalist Charles R. Cross discusses the challenges facing these venues, the reasons he believes their calls for government assistance should be heeded and what Seattle and other cities will lose if those rooms stay empty.


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