As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Milwaukee venues worry about their future

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Milwaukee venues worry about their future

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In

Piet and I have both been adjusting to the absence of live shows these last few weeks. The empty calendars are jarring: Fiserv Forum has nearly completely wiped it schedule clear until this fall, and Roger Waters’ big show there this summer has been rescheduled for next year.

The Pabst Theater Group, meanwhile, has canceled or postponed more than 120 shows, and that’s just the shows it had scheduled through May 15. It’s almost certain more cancellations will follow. The Rave, likewise, will be shut down through at least June, save for a few straggler shows in May that are unlikely to happen as scheduled.

The Riverside Theater | facebook.com/pabstheater

What makes this so daunting, Piet says, is the impact on employees at these venues, from ushers to bartenders, and the fear that smaller venues with thinner profit margins may not be able to survive, Piet worries. One venue manager told Piet he’s expecting losses in the six figures.

We discuss the prognosis on this week’s episode, which you can stream below.

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