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.
Emma Silvers in The Chronicle:
Location: 37° 46' 15.63" N, 122° 24' 45.70" W