concerts in toronto

Even virtual concerts are now banned under Ontario lockdown rules

Live concerts haven't been a thing in Toronto for more than a year now, making it hard to imagine a time when they will be again, especially due to the unimaginable blow the entire industry has taken over the course of the pandemic.

And now, new lockdown restrictions have brought about another hit that seems somewhat nonsensical: the prohibition of virtual concerts livestreamed from floundering local venues.

The 28-day Ontario-wide shutdown that went into effect over the weekend means that residents have lost the chance to enjoy patios and outdoor fitness classes, and that businesses offering personal care services had their hopes of reopening this month dashed, among other things.

It also mandates that venues which had adapted to the times by offering livestreamed shows have to cease even that seemingly very safe activity.

The new rules for venues were vague, as they have been shuttered to fans for so long now, and obviously will continue to be.

But surely hosting a virtual event featuring a small number musicians safely distanced in a massive concert hall could be deemed acceptable, right?

Apparently not, the Canadian Live Music Association confirmed this week.

Adding insult to injury, certain rules pertaining to media industries mean that much of film and TV production can continue — but for whatever reason, the same does not apply to the music industry.

Venues across the city and the province will now have to cancel all virtual shows they had scheduled for the next month, leaving both venue owners, staff and musicians sitting and twiddling their thumbs with the hope that things will indeed open again once this stint of yet another drastic lockdown is over.

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