Tiny concerts are the newest way to enjoy live music in a COVID-19 world.
Waterford Old Town Hall will be host to a series of tiny concerts, with a maximum of 50 guests each.
The beginning of the pandemic shutdown came in the middle of OTH’s spring concert series, causing one of the performances to be cancelled, and the other two to be postponed.
Claire Senko, artistic director at the hall, kept in contact with the performers and has scheduled the two postponed to play later this month. The performances will be by folk duo Kennedy Road, and Lemon Bucket Orkestra.
Senko recognized the need for live music and organized Main Street Music Strolls, which began in late July and continued weekly through Waterford.
The musicians performed at locations throughout the town to keep those enjoying the music as spread out as possible.
“After presenting the music strolling and seeing how powerful that was for people, I didn’t know how impoverished peoples’ souls were,” Senko said as she began tearing up at the Old Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon. “When they started trusting, and coming out of their home, and realizing that this wasn’t a mass event, people got really excited about it.”
“Observing the power of that, and seeing how much it meant to people, it was a necessary consideration to think, as we enter the winter months, what can we do to our facility to make it as safe as possible so that people can continue having these experiences.”
During the tiny concerts there will be strict sanitization, contact tracing, mandatory masks, and distancing policies. Admission will be limited to 50 guests, seating will be in distanced pods, and once visitors are in their seats they are to stay there throughout the concert.
An industrial grade UV and charcoal air purification system will be installed permanently into the hall, and a plexiglass barrier will be installed between the stage and the audience.
For the tiny concerts, Kennedy Road will be performing Oct. 24, and Lemon Bucket Orkestra will be playing a matinee concert the following day.
Senko added that artists have been hit hard during the pandemic with no places to perform. This is also impacting venues, tour managers, producers, and others as well.
“It affects an entire community of people whose lives are invested in performing arts,” she said. “These little things that we’re doing in our little community, suddenly musicians are able to put a little money in their pocket.”
A social contract has been prepared for everyone in attendance to know what is expected of them while they are in the building.
Tickets for the tiny concert series are on sale now at oldtownhall.org/tickets. Senko said any ticket purchaser is able to contact her directly for more information on the safety protocols being put in place.