“We need an instant COVID test”: Cherry Bar suggests new roadmap for live music’s return

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“We need an instant COVID test”: Cherry Bar suggests new roadmap for live music’s return

Image by Andrew Bibby
Words by Tom Parker

The venue’s owner James Young provided the suggestion via a Facebook post.

Cherry Bar have continually been ahead of the curve when it comes to anything live music-related throughout COVID-19. They were one of the first venues to welcome back live audiences in June when restrictions had momentarily eased in Victoria.

Phil Para was the first to perform on Little Collins Street on Wednesday June 24, with the likes of Kim Salmon, Eugene Hamilton, Black Cab and Pierce Brothers following in front of reduced-capacity audiences.

Now the venue is forward thinking once again, providing a new left-field suggestion for the return of live music. Ever since the stage three and eventually stage four lockdown restrictions were enforced, the ability to present live music in any form has been impossible.

Venues went from being able to host socially-distant gigs to shutting themselves down completely.

For some of us, imagining a world of sustainable live music isn’t possible without a COVID-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, Cherry Bar’s enterprising owner James Young has provided a new suggestion.

“We should not be waiting a for (sic) save-all vaccine,” Young suggested in a Cherry Bar Facebook post. “By the time this happens there won’t be a live music scene anymore.

“We should not be inventing scenarios of socially-distant live music gigs. It’s counter-intuitive,” Young continued. “We should be concentrating on how we can host a live music festival in the precise way it is meant to be hosted.”

Young suggests that we shouldn’t be preparing for a society where a vaccine is possible… because it may never be. Rather we should be fastening a service that is already accessible. For Young, live music needs to presented in its most authentic form – “Live, intimate, sweaty and human.”

“… We need to shift our focus from vaccine to testing,” the post continues. “We need an instant COVID test. Dab on the tongue. Bang. Red you’re positive, see you later. Green you’re negative, come on in.

“It’s a simple app. One that confirms whether you are virus free or not.”

A quick test would be conducted when punters arrive at the gig. With COVID-free punters given the green light, they can then enjoy the show in its natural form – one that isn’t hampered by any form of social distancing.

This would also pave the way for the return of music festivals: “See you at Meredith my friends,” Young went on to say.

Check out the full post below.


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