By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – The Arts Garage in Delray Beach brought back their live shows in October, but kept limited seating capacity, strict social distancing and a mask requirement amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Tonight, December 26th, marks the last show of 2020 for the venue with Peace of Woodstock performing at 8PM.
In October the State of Florida entered phase three of reopening — allowing concert halls and theaters to pack in at full capacity. The Arts Garage, which had transformed to offer online performances, shifted to a hybrid of both live and live-streamed shows.
President and CEO of the Arts Garage, Marjorie Waldo, told WLRN Public Radio and Television that once you account for social distancing within the actual audience space, that “100 percent” is more like 40-50 percent capacity inside.
“I don’t know when we’ll feel comfortable moving up to a larger audience,” said Waldo at the time. “This is a moving target for most of us in this business and we’re not sure what tomorrow will bring.”
Luckily for sixties music fans, today is bringing the return of Peace of Woodstock. Their last show was sold out so those that want to attend in person should get tickets early, and of course wear their favorite tie-dye shirts, headbands and break out the peace signs.
The venue explains, ‘this show will take you on a musical journey from the acoustic opening act of the Woodstock experience, Richie Havens through the closing moments of the festival with the explosive, electric sounds of Jimi Hendrix.’
The show also featured are songs from Crosby, Stills, and Nash, The Who, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, the Jefferson Airplane, and others.
To accommodate live audiences, the venue also has eliminating intermissions. Audience members must wear masks and are expected to observe physical distancing. Tables are also spaced well apart and new air purification systems have been installed.
The venue has tables of six with individual seats available for purchase in advance, as no tickets will be sold at the box office. Ticket holders must bring printed or electronic tickets for touchless entry and immediately take their seats in the venue to avoid crowding. Tickets are $20 per seat, plus a $3 transaction fee, and can be purchased online.
For the at-home audience, a YouTube stream offers a chat-bar that enables viewers to interact with the performers in real time. The virtual seat tickets are only $14 ($10 plus a $4 transaction processing fee) and can be bought online. “It’s really cool,” says Waldo. “We wanted to get it as close to the live experience as we could.”
Next up for the Arts Garage in-person performances is Lauren Mitchell on January 2nd at 8PM. Jack Sullivan of Blues Music Magazine described Mitchell as “a mesmerizing performer, with a voice for the ages.” She had kicked off 2019 in a big way performing on the closing night of The 34th Havana Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba.
Following that on January 3rd, at 7PM, Joey Gilmore and The TCB Express Band brings a mixture of Blues, Funk and R&B to the venue. The band performs down-home Blues like B.B. King, while also paying homage to The Staple Singers with some soulful R&B.
Gilmore has been playing over fifty years and is established as a Florida legend, providing a highlight at Blues Festivals and night clubs all over the world.