It was the best of times, it was–not the best of times
Gold Coast, Australia - March 8, 2020: Coles supermarket empty toilet paper shelves amid coronavirus fears, shoppers panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper as Australia prepares for a pandemic.

It was the best of times, it was–not the best of times

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about having live music at your event or wedding or party. As I write this in mid-March of 2020, there’s not a whole heck of lot of people doing that. There’s this thing out there called COVID-19; it’s kind of a big deal.

As someone who plays Spanish guitar music at live events for a living, the bigness of that deal is greatly exacerbated. I look at my calendar and see a mass of big, sloppy Xs.

The corporate events were the first to go. One canceled with two days’ notice.

Just imagine all the planning that went into getting hundreds of people out to Phoenix, booking the venue, setting the menus, dreaming up and organizing all the activities–even hiring a Spanish guitarist or two–and then getting the word from on high that it’s over. Call the whole thing off.

I feel for those planners! I also feel for my brides and grooms (or brides and brides, or grooms and grooms) who have been looking forward to this day for years and years, and chose a lovely date in spring in Arizona to make their love for each other official. They have chosen a date, chosen a venue. Sent out cards with trembling hands, received the RSVPs joyfully. They, too, have chosen their menus, their activities, their color scheme, their songs–

And then, this.

Those of us in the event world, guitarists, caterers, planners; as well as those having events, the wonderful clients who honor us by hiring us to be part of those special events–are all a bit gobsmacked. After all, there are no more events. They are being canceled, one by one. And we are trying to reschedule them, even picking dates and organizing and replanning, but the truth is, no one really knows if those new dates will be valid, or if they’ll end up as big, sloppy Xs on the calendar, too.

Speaking for myself, my month got canceled and like a row of dominos, my other dates are dropping with loud, audible clicks. The sound of bones clacking together (hope that’s not too melodramatic). This is my full-time job, and it’s been erased by COVID-19 and society’s response to it. Basically, if you’ll excuse the metaphor, what used to be my profession looks like the toilet paper shelves at Fry’s right now.

To be clear, I support the health community’s efforts to prevent illness, death, and disruption. This is a disaster of generational import. It’s going to be inconvenient at the very least and economically devastating to many. But it must be done.

If you’re reading this, perhaps this has all passed. The disease has been contained, venues have reopened, the economy has rebounded, and it’s once again time to party. In this grim times, that thought gives me a smile.

Welcome back.

Drop me a line if you need a guitarist.

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