NORFOLK, Va. — Concert and show venues have sat mostly empty for over a year now, but as restrictions lift, artists are finally making plans to come to Hampton Roads!
Tickets are on sale now for events at big venues like the Norfolk Scope and Hampton Coliseum.
Capacity restrictions in Virginia will end on May 28 and that’s big news for Norfolk’s SevenVenues. Right now, for example, seating at Chrysler Hall is limited.
“We are a little north of 700 right now socially distanced,” said SevenVenues Assistant Director Rob Henson. “But the total capacity at 100 percent of Chrysler hall is almost 2,500.”
Henson said the schedule really starts to heat up this fall. They’ve booked several comedians, monster truck shows, symphony acts, and of course, the Norfolk Tides and the Admirals have full seasons ahead.
“Over the last two weeks I have confirmed more than 20 shows,” Henson said. “Today, as a matter of fact, I have confirmed three, for instance. Every day it just keeps growing and growing.”
The Hampton Coliseum is seeing a lot of demand too.
“Tickets are on sale for the Eric Church concert, which will be in February of 2022,” said Hampton Arts Artistic Director Richard Parison. “Space Camp the EDM show in December, already sold out, two shows.”
Parison said their first concert after reopening is outside.
“Opening in July with a very exciting outdoor pod concert for Sevendust,” Parison said.
Stage lights at The American Theatre have also been off for too long.
“In March 2020 we had a Tango Latin show,” Parison said. “That was the last time we had artists in the building.”
Parison said the theatre’s upcoming shows take time to plan, he expects to announce the lineup this fall.
“We will be able to restore probably at least 80 percent of the acts we had to cancel in our last season,” Parison said.
Both directors said they will follow each city’s reopening guidelines.
“We will keep the sanitizers out for people, we will keep the touchless transactions there,” Henson said.
And will adjust as needed to keep audiences and artists safe.
"What that looks like tomorrow, may be different from what it looks like in August and the fall,” Parison said.
But, one thing is for sure: the show must and will go on.
“One thing I can tell you about reopening, we are going to be holding our arms wide open for our guests,” Parison said.
“Excited to see people again,” Henson said. “Excited to see our patrons again.”