27-Jan-2022 (Thu) Wherein 'This shouldn't be our job'

Emma Silvers in The Chronicle:

As the omicron variant began to surge last month, some in the Bay Area arts community saw the waves of cancellations as reminiscent of the pandemic's early days, when shelter-in-place orders brought live events to a screeching, definitive halt. But there's a glaring difference this time around: Event organizers and performers are the ones doing the canceling. That's because local officials' current approach to restrictions is a stark contrast to the position they took in March and April 2020. Namely, there aren't many. [...]

"We could have gone through with the show and no one would have stopped us, which is a little insane," Goff told The Chronicle a few weeks later. "The reality is, we as musicians are not qualified to be making these decisions." [...]

"You're backing people into a corner," said Patrick Brown, founder of San Francisco music label Text Me Records. "When it comes down to it, most people will risk their health rather than go bankrupt if you're not giving them any other options." [...]

Indeed, in the absence of new citywide mandates, an increasing number of Bay Area venues have voluntarily adopted new policies aimed at keeping staff and attendees safe. [...]

"We are getting no guidance or support from the city," DNA Lounge owner Jamie Zawinski told The Chronicle. Zawinski referred to Breed's recent statements as "the Trump approach: telling people to 'personal choice' their way out of a structural, societal problem."

"If the mayor cared about protecting people rather than protecting capital, all restaurants and bars would be closed right now ... (but) for us to just unilaterally close down, while every other nightclub is going full speed ahead, isn't really an option. For that to happen, we would need support from our government, both legal and financial, and that support doesn't exist anymore." [...]

Low ticket sales due to COVID fears aren't helped by the reality that people don't want to buy tickets if they're not sure a show will actually happen. Then there's the fact that most hourly venue staff have no safety net when they're called off work because a performance was canceled -- as opposed to when clubs were shuttered and they could file for unemployment.

6 Responses:

  1. Dude says:

    I was there last night (double-masked and face-shielded) when Breed made a surprise appearance at ACT's opening night for Freestyle Love Supreme to review it for 48 Hills. On the plus side, she didn't do her usual bullshit of openly mocking us for wanting to be safe.

    Oh no, now she's on some whole new bullshit: she did a full-blown Dubya "Mission Accomplished" by boasting SF had "82%" vaxxed, saying that every performance venue (yes, "every") has been/is now/will be financially protected because of The City (no mention of the Hunger Games distro of funds), and ended her shit by saying - and I quote:

    It's time for the doors to open! [..] Now, it's okay to celebrate!

    I didn't bother rolling my eyes behind my masks and shield because I know they'd just roll out of my fuckin' head. At this point, she's completely rolled out the red carpet for our new COVID overlords.

    • Dude says:

      Oh, for fuck's sake:

      Starting Feb. 1,  San Francisco office workers, gym members and other “stable cohorts” of people who are up to date on their vaccinations – including boosters when eligible – may remove masks indoors again.
      Additionally, people will be allowed to enter indoor “mega-events” of 500 people or more with a negative COVID-19 test as an alternative to being up to date on vaccinations. Masking would still be required, officials said.

  2. N K says:

    82% having two doses isn’t the same as 82% CURRENTLY fully vaccinated. If it’s been longer than six months since your last shot you are no longer fully vaccinated. The state needs to add a red or green marker to the vax status QR code to indicate current status. Simple enough bit of code to track the dates. It would speed up door checks.

    Lacking a more effective response and assistance from the City, County, or State, can the at least a group of nightclubs and bars band together with a unified policy that states you must be CURRENTLY fully vaxxed. No more than six months since last vax and at least two weeks from latest vax? Door folks would need to update the two dates each night like how they check the ever rolling date of who is 18/ 21. It’s one more piece of work (already being done at DNA as of the end of the month), but if every/ most venues did so they would be backing each other up.

    For instance the Cat Club doesn’t seem to be requiring boosters yet. We have a lot of cross over attendants between the Cat Club and DNA. I am uncomfortable going to CC until they update their policy. However others might see this as a reason to complain that DNA is too strict (you aren’t). Can we get some cooperation with other bars and venues? At least the remaining independents?

    N K

    • N K says:

      Hmm jwz was there another reply after mine that got deleted that you were replying to? GFY isn’t an expected response to essentially “I agree that the city is dropping the ball and not helping. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get other venues to agree to do as excellent a job as DNA at upholding health standards, so our ‘home club’ isn’t the only one fighting the good fight and taking the brunt of the pushback”.

      The internet gets weird, but compliments and support usually don’t get such a negative response. Kinda puzzled coming across this, but hoping there’s some explanation that doesn’t leave me feeling ugh about an oddly non-sequitur OTT reply from someone I respect for sticking his neck out to help keep us safe.

      • N K says:

        Ok I found the missing snarky reply to me (that jwz must have been targeting) in my spam folder- how appropriate. I don’t see a way to delete my baffled reply to jwz, so for the record, jwz was not responding oddly to me, but apparently to someone else who was being rather unpleasant and denigrating DNA’s stance. The stress hasn’t cracked jwz yet. Stay strong.

  3. Andrew Janke says:

    Jeeezus. When you have to rely on the performers and entertainment folks to play the role of cop and shut down their own performances in the name of public health...

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