Musicians benefit from loosened COVID-19 restrictions

Musicians benefit from loosened COVID-19 restrictions

(KEYC) - The hospitality industry can let people inside their business starting on Jan. 11th, which also means that bands can play in venues as well.

“They count on this, just like anybody else would count on a part-time job as being part of their income. They’ve been shut off for the better part of six months out of the last year,” Indian Island Winery owner, Ray Winter said.

Eating establishments and live music often go hand in hand, but with restaurants being closed for indoor dining, musicians have been directly impacted.

“Mankato area for good music, I mean really great musicians. It’s such a shame that they can’t get out and you know show their talents and let people enjoy it,” Winter said.

That’s what has been happening to the local bands and restaurants during COVID-19 restrictions, but all of that becomes for not when the food industry gets to welcome people back inside starting on Jan. 11th.

One example is Indian Island Winery located in Janesville. They’re usually closed during the winter months, but they’ve decided to open.

“You know, people just don’t want to come and buy or get a bottle of wine and take it home. They want to have a little supper or dinner, you know and listen to some music for a couple of hours,” said Winter.

That means it’s not just the restaurant getting back into business; the Amy Manette Band will perform at the winery on Saturday, Jan. 16th.

They’re a three-person Jazz band and ready to get back to doing what they love to do.

“We definitely missed each other a lot and we’re really looking forward to our gig on Saturday, to perform and do what we love doing,” The Amy Manette Band lead singer, Amy Kuch said.

Kuch said although they are excited step back on the stage, they’re also feeling other emotions as well, especially since they’ve had more than 22 cancelled gigs during the pandemic.

“Your vocal cords, they don’t stay in shape. So, it is really kind of hard, so I have been trying to do a lot of singing in the car on the way back and forth to my day job. Singing every time, I can and I can definitely tell so nerves are there,” she said.

Having the component of live music in a restaurant, bar or winery brings a sense of warm and coziness that a DJ or automated music can’t replicate.

It is also a win-win situation for the musicians and the owners of the venue.

“When they can come in, whether it is ordering a drink or ordering a meal and again, it brings everyone together. It helps us because we love to perform and entertain people and I think it certainly helps the venues too so they can help draw a crowd in,” said Kuch.

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