Live music is slowly returning for local performances

by Mick Rhodes |

It’d be disingenuous to say live music, one of the more deeply felt social losses of the pandemic, is roaring back. But the much-missed collective soul-affirming rite is definitely peaking its head up after more than a year of forced hibernation.


Locally, Last Name Brewing in Upland has once again begun hosting live performances—outdoors, socially distant, with limited capacity—and tomorrow is throwing a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta from 1 to 8 p.m.


The event includes music from noted all-female Los Angeles-based Mariachis Lindas Mexicanas, who will perform from 2 to 4 p.m., and local rockabilly/soul group Jonny Come Lately, onstage from 5 to 8 p.m.


More information and tickets are available at


With both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties poised to move to the yellow tier of California’s COVID risk assessment metric as soon as next week, we could be seeing more and more live music in our near future—most of it likely outdoors—as well as expansion of venues’ indoor and outdoor capacities.


Under the yellow tier, wineries, breweries and distilleries can expand indoor business to 50 percent of capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. They can admit up to 75 percent of capacity if guests can show proof of full vaccination or a negative test. Limits of the orange tier are 25 percent or 100 people.


Outdoor seated live events will expand to 67 percent of capacity under yellow tier rules. Here though, if all guests can show proof they live in California and are fully vaccinated—officially, two weeks after receiving the final dose of the various available vaccines—venues can operate at full capacity, albeit socially distanced and with some mask requirements such when patrons are moving throughout the venue.


It may still be some time before indoor concert venues, bars and clubs are able to reopen at full capacity, a sticking point that has left some operators of smaller rooms—such as Claremont’s venerable Press—unable to do much else but wait, as social distancing rules and capacity limits make it financially untenable to do anything else.


There’s no word yet on when and if The Press, will reopen, though owner Steve Rudicel told the COURIER last month that he plans on it, “When we can keep everyone safe,” he said. “Nothing more to say now. Except it’s about the safety of workers and customers within that particular space and business model, albeit modified. All of that read against the virus itself, at least what we as lay people can understand.”



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