The provincial government has outlawed live streaming shows for the second time this year, causing another COVID-19 setback for Ontario concert venue owners. The most recent measures in Doug Ford’s “emergency brake” plan, announced on Thursday, prohibit virtual concerts from taking place in local venues for the next four weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
However, Lisa Zbitnew, co-owner of Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre, says that while she supports the government’s health measures, she is baffled as to why the live music industry is once again receiving mixed safety messages. She cited film and television shoots that continue throughout the province despite the new precautions, leaving her perplexed as to why a movie crew is deemed safe inside a studio but a production crew isn’t allowed inside an empty concert hall.
Similar measures were enacted in January, forcing organizers of a number of live streaming concerts and theater shows to postpone or cancel events in order to comply with the province’s stricter stay-at-home orders.
The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto has postponed a number of virtual concerts until early May as a result of the latest measures, including shows with the Trews, Terra Lightfoot, and Hawksley Workman.