On March 12, Mayor Elorza temporarily revoked entertainment licenses in PVD. Though the decision was made for the good of the community, as a result the Providence music scene witnessed the unraveling of its extensive labor.
This was far from a night out being replaced by a night at home. This was months of scheduling, days of hard work and hours of practice slipping through calloused hands and fingertips of diligent performers, now hopelessly awaiting their moment on stage.
“It’s been a nightmare, but I’m working through it; we’re all working through it,” expressed Justin Marcotte, promoter and event manager at Fete Music Hall, as he elaborated on the time, effort and planning that goes into every performance that the venue holds, and lamented having to do it all over again. Marcotte has successfully managed to reschedule a total of 60 events that were planned for March, April and May. Many include some of Fete’s most esteemed and long-awaited events of the spring and summer. Tattoofest (rescheduled to September 19) and Providence Rock Day (rescheduled to October 11), will proceed with nearly every band that was scheduled for the original date. As of now, no further changes have been made for the summer months at Fete.
“The national tours are the hardest part,” said John Difruscio, owner of Askew and general manager at Alchemy. “It’s going to be tough for bands to be on the road for a while considering some states will be opening before others.” Popular neighboring cities for tour destinations, such as New York and Boston, may also play a role in determining when Providence will be back in full force. This also is true for the rest of New England.
“My goal is not having to cancel any events, even if some of them have to be rescheduled a second or third time,” said Marcotte. “I will be on the front line to make sure every single one of these 60-plus events happen when the world returns to normal.”
Marcotte and Difruscio both made it a point to thank the vibrant and supportive local scene for their trust and patience during this time, and everyone else working tirelessly to keep the music of Providence alive when all is said and done. “It’s important that when you feel safe to do so, that you come out to support the venues and musicians,” concluded Difruscio. “That’s what’s most important to keep these places alive.”