Tuesday, 23 June 2020 14:59

Rockingham cancels July Plaza Jam show with the Embers

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Rockingham cancels July Plaza Jam show with the Embers RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — The legendary Embers will not be taking the stage at Cole Plaza this year.

City Events Coordinator Kim Williams announced Tuesday afternoon that the July concert for the Plaza Jam series has been canceled.

This follows the cancellation of the afternoon concert series in May and June.

“Our community’s safety and well-being is our top priority,” Williams said in an email.

Mass gathering restrictions imposed by Gov. Roy Cooper in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellations.

Cooper slightly eased restrictions on outdoor mass gatherings from 10 to 25 as part of his second phase of re-opening. Plaza Jam usually boasts a crowd of several hundred.

Craig Woolard and the Embers performed the show prior to Independence Day last year, as well.

The Entertainers, who last performed at Plaza Jam in 2017, were slated to take the stage in Cole Plaza on June 4.

Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot were originally scheduled to open the 2020 season in May. Lowder is a former member of The Entertainers.

Restaurants and salons were also recently allowed to re-open at partial capacity. Bars and gyms are among the businesses kept closed since March 15 by the governor, though some bars have been allowed to open if they meet certain criteria.

The music industry has taken a hit from the pandemic.

Ultimate Classic Rock.com recently reported that Neil Young, Graham Nash, Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper and other musicians signed a letter delivered to Congress by the National Independent Venue Association, which recently reported that “up to 90 percent of its 1,300 member businesses were at risk of failing amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Part of the letter reads:

“Independent venues give artists their start, often as the first stage most of us have played on.These venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. With zero revenue and the overwhelming overhead of rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, 90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.”

Some local musicians, in addition to “quaranstreaming,” have been able to line up small gigs in reopening restaurants.

But two of Richmond County’s main venues, Hudson Brothers Deli and Double Vision, have remained closed since St. Patrick’s Day.

As for Plaza Jam, Williams said the city will make an announcement for the August concert in the coming weeks.

The Tonez are slated to play in August, with The Tams in September, and North Tower Band closing out the series in October.

All three bands, plus the Embers, performed at Plaza Jam in 2019.


Last modified on Tuesday, 23 June 2020 15:38