Live Venue Concerts Returning to SLC


Chris Ayers

Annie Clark of St. Vincent performs at the Twilight Concert Series at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, Thursday, August 27 2015. (Chris Ayers, Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Whit Fuller, Arts Writer


For those familiar with the local music scene here in Utah, the name Sartain and Saunders brings to mind unique music venues and shows dedicated to the promotion of local, ground-breaking artists. The company hosts events at a number of venues in Salt Lake City — Kilby Court and Urban Lounge among them — and even has a diner that provides live music to support its dedication to the music industry and unique music culture in SLC.

However, recent events have caused the local music scene to undergo some changes. With social distancing orders in place and venues scaling back their capacity for events, companies like S&S have made some modifications to the way that shows are handled.

A Changing Scene

While S&S experienced some challenges when COVID-19 first hit, the company was able to recover and provide optimistic adaptations for the unusual circumstances. The process was gradual, but by October 2020, the company was able to host in-person events and has met with an outstanding turnout.

“Kilby Court, Urban Lounge, and Metro Music Hall are currently open on weekends only and are running at about 10% of our total capacity. We sell tickets in groups so that households can be together. We then distance each group 6 -10 feet from each other within the space, and masks are required to be on at all times,” said Nic Smith, Ticketing and Sales Manager for S&S. “This has allowed us to bring back some of our staff and the feedback we have received from artists and patrons has been really great. To date, we have not had a breakout sourced to any of our venues, nor received info that anyone attending our shows had COVID-19 — so we are pretty proud of ourselves in this regard.”

With these modifications, the atmosphere of shows has noticeably changed as well and the desire to attend events has become greater than ever for some.

“Because people are not going out to see live music very much at the moment, I would say that those that do attend, leave the show feeling refreshed about getting back out and attending something cool within their community,” said Smith. “I think it’s good for the soul to watch people play music and it becomes more obvious after you’ve gone months without it.”

Moving Forward 

Concerts are an important part of how we experience music, and doing so in a local community — such as SLC — is a unique experience in its own right.

“Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 are going to be packed with artists who are going back on tour so we are all very excited for the end of this year. We hope to be back in full swing by then,” said Smith.

Companies like S&S are doing their part to comply with regulations and provide concerts during a time when interactions with the local music scene are more crucial than ever.


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