Photo by Max Bender via Unsplash

Music venues are opening their doors once more, welcoming concert-goers back after over a year of closure. 

Tres Leches, a local band, are set to play at the Woodland Park Zoo, a venue known for its ZooTunes, a staple in local music. 

“This year we’ve really missed connecting with the live audience,” Alaia D’Alessandro of Tres Leches told Scriberr News in an email. 

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“Now that vaccinations are more accessible and live shows are returning, we look forward to releasing new material on the first label we’ve ever worked with, Devil in the Woods. As we tour singles and eventually an album, we can’t wait to make those in person connections again, including with the audience that we built over the pandemic.”

For years, Seattle’s live music has been iconic for its vibrancy and prominence in the grunge scene. Home to bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the city was one of the best places for up and coming musicians to embrace their creative sound in front of a music-loving audience. 

In 2020, however, the Seattle music scene went quiet. The COVID-19 pandemic took casualties in every industry, but perhaps some of the hardest hit workers were that of live shows; including sound engineers, local artists and venue owners. As concerts rely heavily on large crowds and open spaces, Seattle’s most famous locations were forced to shut down indefinitely. 

Now, as virus rates decline and vaccination rates increase, the city is coming back to life as more and more people return to normalcy. In turn, musicians started to plan and book shows, and those in Seattle now have the option to enjoy a live show in one of the city’s many notable venues. 

The Woodland Park Zoo is finally back for the 37th annual concert season. This year, however, there is an extra effort to showcase local musicians in the line-up in partnership with Seattle’s famous radio station, KEXP.  

“Same as the zoo, so many artists and musicians were hit hard during the pandemic,” the Zoo wrote on their site, “We along with KEXP wanted to find a way to support our communities and bring people together in music.”

Michele Smith, the Zoo’s Chief Financial Officer, told Scriberr News it’s a way for them “to not only support local artists, but also give back to the community that has supported us so much during the tough times of the pandemic.”

Prior to the recent mask mandate lifts, Seattle-based venues were wary about reopening. While COVID-19 restrictions adjusted in Washington enough for larger venues to reopen and still sustain profit, many of the rules were not feasible to smaller establishments. The independent venues, which provide platforms to local artists, would most likely not see a financial profit. 

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With the Secretary of Health’s Order 20-03.2, all venues now have the advantage of gathering in large groups without masks for those who are fully vaccinated. These new rules from Washington’s Department of Health permits the  live music scene to return this summer. 

Local artists are using this momentum to book and sell tickets to their shows. Notable groups such as The Posies, The Dip, Warren Dunes and the Black Tones are all filling up dates at Seattle’s iconic independent music venues. 

With all the talks of returning to the ‘normal’ after the pandemic, lovers of music and Seattle alike have much to look forward to.

Written ByAddison Gallagher

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