LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Louisiana is moving into phase three of coronavirus recovery tomorrow, but it will look different than the first time the state entered phase three the last year. Governor John Bel Edwards made the announcement in a press conference this afternoon.
Starting Wednesday, the majority of businesses, including restaurants and salons, will be able to move to 75% capacity. Religious services will no longer have capacity limits. Gyms and fitness centers will remain at 50% of their capacity. Live music will be allowed indoors under additional guidance provided by the state fire marshal, and indoor gatherings may operate at 50% capacity with a cap of 250 people.
Many musicians and music hall owners have struggled without live performances to make their living. El Sid O’s Zydeco & Blues Club in Lafayette hasn’t a live performance in more than a year on February 4, 2020, but with today’s announcement, owner Big Sid Williams is hoping to change that before the end of March.
Williams opened the doors to his club for the first time in months Tuesday to speak to News 10. His stage still left untouched with alcohol and masks from a rocking time before the pandemic changed everything.
“When they closed the club down, it was like the Titanic had hit us,” Big Sid Williams recalled.
2020 was his worst year since 1981. He went from having nearly 40 live shows a year in his club to zero, $80,000 in revenue to less than $5,000. He admitted to almost selling the club but said, “When it’s time to rock, we will rock again.”
With Phase 3 reintroducing live indoor performances to the state, Williams is calling musicians to book his venue. Musicians like Rosie & The Zydeco Gs.
Rosie Bellard said when said about the news, “Every musician is like jumping up and down right now. Yeah! They’re opening up! We can work! We can work!”
Bellard turned to what many of the larger artists did last year making records or performing online, but she admits not everyone could.
“A lot of them, and it’s so sad, they kind of shut it down. I think they kind of moved on to steady jobs if you will,” she explained.
But now that the door is open, artists and venues are hopeful live music will make a comeback tour.
“They’re going to come back, I hope,” Williams expressed. “I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch, but I hope they come back because us Zydeco people we took a lick.”
Big Sid of El Sid O’s said he’d been calling people all day to book a Zydeco performance, but many of them must be used to not answering the phone yet.
Rosie Bellard says she and the Zydeco Gs are ready though, and if you’d like to book them reach out to Thezydecog@gmail.com or (832) 428-8950.