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Entertainment industry looks for comeback in 2021

Several venues in the Twin Cities are eyeing a return to live events.

MINNEAPOLIS — Live events are finally on the horizon again across the Twin Cities.

The Guthrie Theater announced that public spaces will reopen on July 8, followed by productions in October. First Avenue is targeting a mid-to-late summer return with local and regional performances, and both the Armory and U.S. Bank Stadium have concerts tentatively scheduled starting in August and September.

And smaller venues, like restaurants and breweries that feature live performances, have already welcomed musicians back to the stage. Joyann Parker, a singer-songwriter in the Twin Cities, has enjoyed performing for crowds lately at smaller, intimate venues – a nice change of pace from her virtual performances early in the pandemic.

“I need to be with people, because that’s really where I share my heart,” Parker said. “When you’re done and there’s nobody there and it’s just a computer screen – it’s really strange. Being with real people, that exchange of energy, it’s incomparable. There’s nothing like it.”

With live concerts and sporting events returning this summer and fall, the big question for consumers is: How much will it cost?

Nick Giammusso, the president and CEO of VIPTix.com, said he’s expecting a “big surge in demand” because people are so excited to see live events again. That may have a short-term impact on pricing – but it won’t be permanent, he says.

“There’s limited capacity in most of the venues. So that’s kind of driving the prices higher because of the limited number of tickets that are available,” Giammusso said, “but as we start opening up to full capacity, we expect the prices to start coming down.”

Giammusso said he can already see signs of improvement.

“We’ve had, just in this week, Eric Church go on sale, which sold very, very well. Genesis is going on tour nationwide and that has sold extremely well with really high prices. So, the demand is there,” he said. “We’re starting to see people are getting vaccinated, and they’re feeling more comfortable getting out. I think the COVID fear is kind of behind us.”

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