How COVID-19 affected local rock 'n' roll


As I drive around the city of Warwick, I’m amazed at all of the changes since 2020. Many local businesses have closed permanently. Others have had to tailor their hours and mode of operation to comply with state mandates.

Among the businesses that really took a hit were local music venues. The trickle-down effect was on the bands and musicians that played at these clubs. The plug was pulled on all performances for months. For some musicians, this was their only source of income. Many started offering live performances on the internet.

I felt this firsthand as the band that I’m in, The Probers, had to cancel all scheduled performances. We decided to wait it out and see what happened. Because we didn’t know when clubs would be allowed to open, we really couldn’t schedule any gigs moving forward. We decided to dig in, rehearse and wait. That became more difficult as the panic of the epidemic got worse.

Band members were afraid of contracting COVID-19 and bringing it home to their families. Every local band was in the same boat, as were the venues. Some clubs were able to open up outside areas and offer entertainment. That required a lot of work to comply with all the regulations. Bar areas weren’t allowed to be open. As people soon found out, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying seeing a band behind a plastic partition playing to a masked audience that wasn’t allowed to leave their seat or dance.

Luckily, things are starting to open up. By late March, all of The Probers were vaccinated, and we were able to start rehearsing. We are excited to announce that we have a gig booked on Friday, June 12, at The District Center for the Arts in Taunton, Massachusetts. The show will start at 8 p.m. and run until 11 p.m. We have an opening act “Jelly Side Down” that is a great group of young rockers! We will also be filming footage for our documentary.

If you’d like to hear some great music and maybe be in our documentary, come on out and say hi! Mention this article and receive a complimentary Prober face mask.

To learn more, visit www.ci.ovationtix.com/36204/production/1043795.

COVID, rock 'n roll


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