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Concerts come back to Marion County during Stage 4 of reopening

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Saturday night, concertgoers prepared to see their first live music in Marion County in months, as Stage 4 of reopening saw venues open their doors.

Huckleberry Funk took the mic to jam out for a smaller crowd than usual because of social distancing. But even at half capacity, it was one of the biggest Marion County had seen in months.

“I can’t believe it, to be honest,” Daniela Molina said. “It feels like, kind of fake. I’m like ‘Am I going to be able to get in?'”

Inside, concertgoers need to keep masks on, can’t get too close to the stage because of a barricade, and need to stay in their social circles.

“Maybe it’s going to be a little awkward at first,” Cheryl Sons said. “Because people will probably be like ‘OK is this too close? Too far? Can I stand here?'”

Hi-Fi Indy, the venue for Saturday’s concert, says opening up at half capacity is actually causing them to lose more money than they would if they just stayed closed.

“You just can’t sell enough tickets to make any money,” owner Josh Baker said. “We hope folks have a couple drinks and that helps us out and the real win here is that we’re getting back in the groove you know?”

Bakers says every night they open is a little bit of an experiment to find out what works so they can continue to host events even as they lose money.

“I think a learning experience for us,” Baker said. “While we have, like I said, made kind of a playbook, we’re kind of taking notes as we go and really trying to figure out what we’re going to do to try and ramp up for the fall.”

Those News 8 talked to said even if things are a little weird, they’re ready to feel the music and celebrate if they can.

“They should be!” Molina said. “You know? It’s been three months! We should feel that energy and see these bands that have been working so hard for a long time and have to put everything on pause. So I think it’s exciting and everyone is excited.”

Baker says Hi-Fi isn’t promising a bunch of concerts up front. They want to see how Saturday goes first. They have a lot planned starting February 2021 if you want to start planning next year’s concert plans.

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