How local concert venues are staying afloat during the pandemic


(Courtesy Pexels)

By Paige Lee, Arts Writer


Salt Lake City is far from having a shortage of entertainment for music lovers. Venues like Kilby Court, Metro Music Hall and Urban Lounge have long been providing entertainment for those looking to enjoy music in a fun environment. Places like these have been hosting artists of all types — both underground and mainstream — for many years. The music scene is a huge reason why it’s so great to live in SLC.

However, because of the pandemic, the places that have been bringing us entertainment for years are now in trouble. While social distancing measures are helping slow the spread of the coronavirus, concert venues have no way to host events in the meantime. With concerts being cancelled and postponed for the good of the public, music venues are left with little means of bringing in revenue. These are not conditions that companies by and large can sustain for very long without going under. Unsurprisingly, the places people used to go to enjoy music face the same struggle.

Now, concert promotions company Sartain and Saunders — who heads Kilby Court, Urban Lounge and Metro Music Hall — is asking would-be concertgoers for help to stay afloat until the quarantine ends. Donations are open for people to assist Sartain and Saunders in keeping these places alive until the pandemic is over. The concert venues are offering a special opportunity to those who donate during quarantine — money donated now can be put towards future concert tickets upon reopening. Not only that, but the company also has redemptions for things like VIP seating, T-shirts and party entries based on the amount donated.

Even as someone who isn’t an avid concert-goer, I still found the concept alluring. Sartain and Saunders found a way to reward both parties in this case — concert venues stay afloat and those who donate benefit from it in more ways than one. Although I am new to the kind of music that generally plays at these venues, I still think that the music and the experience are worth saving— if not for people like me, then for others. Even if concerts aren’t normally your style, it might be worth it to give a donation if you can spare it. Should you choose to put the donation towards tickets, you might have tons of fun and even discover a new interest. But regardless of if you choose to ever attend a concert or event at any of these venues, I still argue that Salt Lake City’s art is precious and should be preserved — it is, after all, a big piece of the city’s culture.

If you are interested in donating, visit the Sartain and Saunders website for more information. There, details are provided about what rewards people can get from donating and what amounts to donate. Regardless of whether you decide to donate or not, it is certainly interesting — and maybe a little heartbreaking — to see how creative venues have gotten in order to stay in business.


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