PLYMOUTH (CBS) – When Katy Thayer, the owner of UVA Wine Bar in Plymouth, heard Governor Baker’s announcement expanding restaurant seating capacity and allowing live music again, she was thrilled. “We called all of our musicians. We booked them because we do live music at least twice a week,” she said. “Everybody was so excited.”
That air of excitement changed suddenly on Friday when Thayer received an email from the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission that informed her none of her musicians would be allowed to sing. “While musical performances are permitted at licensed establishments for on premises alcohol consumption, singing is not permissible indoors as part of these performances,” it read.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
As it turns out, the new COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts that began on March 1 allowing indoor performances to resume actually prohibit singing during the performances in order to limit the spread of the virus. “For live performances, singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments is discouraged,” the guidance reads. “Singing is not permitted in any indoor performance venues.”
“It is a little bit of a letdown,” musician Tim Curry told WBZ as he set up to perform at the Plymouth wine bar Friday night. “I probably have 15 new songs I was hoping to debut tonight.”READ MORE: Wild Ride: Suspects Identified In Carroll County Police Chase
“I haven’t been able to get in touch with all of the musicians we booked already,” Thayer told WBZ. “We just found out.”
To stay in line with state requirements, Curry played several acoustic guitar covers at UVA Wine Bar Friday night, turning down customer requests to sing certain covers.
“Musicians in Massachusetts are just dying to get out and perform for the public again. It’s been a long 12, 13 months,” he explained to WBZ. “Not being able to perform has been really detrimental to my well-being to be perfectly honest. It’s also a source of income I haven’t had for a year now.”MORE NEWS: Deal Between Battery Firms A Big Lift For Georgia
Owner Kelly Thayer is hopeful the restrictions might loosen up in time for summer, so she can keep singer songwriters booked on the calendar. “It makes people happy and we are at a time in our lives right now where we need as much happiness as possible,” she said.