Manitoba

West End Cultural Centre hosting first concert since start of COVID-19 pandemic

The West End Cultural Centre is holding its first live show since March this weekend, though things will look a lot different due to COVID-19. 

New concert series will be live streamed, in-person attendance capped at 40

The West End Cultural Centre is hosting a concert series that will be live streamed and have a small in-person audience in order to adhere to COVID-19 public health orders. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

The West End Cultural Centre is holding its first live show since March this weekend, though things will look a lot different due to COVID-19. 

The Winnipeg music venue's Bring Your Own Mic series kicks off Saturday night with Red Moon Road. It's called that because the venue is asking performers to, yes, bring their own microphones. 

Most of the fans will be enjoying the show from home, while the venue is allowing up to 40 people to attend in person — 10 fewer than the province's current maximum for indoor public gatherings. 

Jorge Requena Ramos, the WECC's artistic co-ordinator, said the venue wanted to find a way to generate some income for Manitoba performers while still keeping audiences safe. 

To do that, the WECC is putting a number of measures in place, in addition to capping attendance. 

That includes table service versus walk-up orders for drinks, asking people to wear face masks and reorganizing the venue so that people can physically distance, Requena Ramos said. 

"I understand that audiences … may be saying, 'Oof, going to a concert right now?' But we took a lot of care for our protocols so that when you're coming to the WECC, your experience is going to be a safe experience," he said. 

The series will run for four weeks, with Manitoba-based acts Rayannah, Leonard Sumner, and Micah Erenberg each playing shows throughout July. 

Requena Ramos said he wanted the series to promote a broad range of local acts. 

"We decided to go really local with our acts; we decided to go and program people in Winnipeg and in Manitoba that really represent of our diversity as a province," he said. 

The tickets for the live stream of the Bring Your Own Mic shows are $2 each (plus a $1 fee).

Individual in-person tickets are available for the venue's mezzanine ($40), or in pairs on the mezzanine for $60. Tickets for a table on the floor are sold in groups of four, at $80 per table. 

All tickets are available through Eventbrite.

With files from Cory Funk

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