OKC Entertainment Venue Hosts Virtual Concerts Through Weekend
New restrictions in multiple cities across Oklahoma has shut down bars and restaurants for weeks and possible months in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Among them is Oklahoma City's Uptown District’s Tower Theatre and Ponyboy. The establishments are known for their live-music, their drinks, and dancing, but they have been forced to shut their doors.
While, they wait to reopen, viewers can watch their artists via livestream.
Chad Whitehead, one of the owners of the two venues, said the virus has left his business devastated.
"It has been absolutely gutting of a small business owner to tell 30 people we don't have a solution for you right now,” Whitehead said.
His bartenders and employees are without work, his line-up of artists had to be rescheduled, his venues still have rent to be paid, and there's no end in sight.
The loss can be felt across the community.
"The Tower Theatre brings 6,000 people a month to NW 23rd,” Whitehouse said.
Whitehead said they have no choice but to find creative ways to try to make any money they can.
“The best idea we have right now is a livestream from Ponyboy,” Whitehead said.
The show will be underwritten by local businesses, so the artists and some employees can make some money.
Until reopening his doors, Whitehead said he hopes he will get some disaster relief for his business, a motion other states have already gotten started.
“We are one of 12 states that still does not have a portal open for some disaster relief,” Whitehead said.
Despite the unknowns, Whitehead said the Tower Theatre will come back strong.
"We going to come back strong, we're just trying to do something supportive for the community in the meantime," he said.
The first one-hour livestream show will start at 8 p.m. Thursday and go through Sunday.
The livestream will air via Vimeo, YouTube, and Twitch. Click here for more information and the schedule of bands playing.
Merchandise can be bought and artists can be tipped via Vimeo.