Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Despite the bumps, Milwaukee music venues are feeling cautiously optimistic

Just a few months ago, things were again looking bleak for the live music industry. Amid a surge of new cases of COVID-19 and dire headlines about the Delta variant, bands that had just announced tours began canceling shows, and for a moment it seemed like much of the industry could go on pause again.

But that didn't happen. Despite all the turbulence and uncertainty, the industry stayed the course, and there's now an emerging belief among Milwaukee music venues that the worst may be over, Piet tells us on this week's Tap'd In. You can see that optimism in the sheer volume of concerts that are being announced every week. 2022 is shaping up to be as busy a year for concerts as 2019 was, provided the pandemic doesn't take another turn for the worse.

Venues aren't out of the woods yet. One troubling sign has been the number of no-shows at recent concerts -- people who bought tickets but never used them, which can cut into a venue's bottom line. And some shows have been poorly attended or have been canceled presumably because of poor ticket sales.

But over the last few weeks the city has also seen huge, sold-out crowds for Harry Styles, Bob Dylan and Widespread Panic, and many other shows have been selling well. That gives venues a lot of hope, Piet says. And venues are also feeling some relief now that they've finally received grant money from the COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grant Program, Piet says.

Hear us discuss the situation on this week's episode below.