PHOENIX - As the state slowly returns to a more normal way of life, at least one big type of event hasn't been given the OK: concerts.
Through the pandemic, live performers and venues have suffered, but that’s about to change.
When sports came back, the thought was that concerts would follow. The difference, however, is that teams could play in empty stadiums, and it’s tough for artists to perform that way.
The good news is, however, that shows are about to start up again.
"Venues were the first to shut down and we’ll be the last to open," said Rebel Lounge owner Stephen Chilton.
He got to work advocating for Save our Stages, the only lifeline for many independent venues.
"I don’t think many venues would’ve made it, I wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t have these grants coming in," he said.
In December 2020, $15 billion in relief went to the Save our Stages Act. In just about a week, the Rebel Lounge will hold its first show in more than a year.
'We are closer than people think. We’re months away. Not six months away. And in the fall, it’s looking great. We have more shows booked for the fall than we ever have, we have things booked through May of next year," Chilton said.
The Small Business Administration will start taking applications on Thursday for money from the Save our Stages Act.
Meanwhile, big-time performers are making plans too. Country star Eric Church announced a "Gathering Again" Tour with a stop in Glendale next May.