Citing COVID-19 spike, St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater cancels live events again

On Monday, Florida added 4,663 coronavirus cases and 41 deaths.

click to enlarge Charlie Wells at Palldium Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida on Nov. 6, 2020. - Dave Decker
Dave Decker
Charlie Wells at Palldium Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida on Nov. 6, 2020.

Last month, after being shut down since March, St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater reopened it’s 831-seat Hough Hall for shows where only 181 of the seats would be sold. The move—coupled with mask requirements and program timing to discourage congregation in the lobby—was to promote safe concert going for fans feigning for the buzz of a PA and artists quite literally looking for work to help save their very livelihoods.

Things were going well, and a new Palladium live streaming service was taking off. Well, thanks to the latest spike in coronavirus numbers, live shows at Palladium are on hold again.

“It worked,” Palladium Executive Director Paul Wilborn wrote of the plan to keep patrons safe. “But we also pledged to follow CDC guidelines, which encourages live shows like ours when the infection rate is below five percent. For October, the rate in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County met that criteria. That is no longer the case.”

On Monday, Florida added 4,663 coronavirus cases and 41 deaths. On Monday night, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issued a COVId-19 update, writing that Pinellas was “5.7% positive in our overnight county data. Our two week average is now 6.6%.”

There is no timetable for the return of live music to Palladium, and while some venues have been criticized for hosting packed shows, others have pledged to present music in a “Safe & Sound” environment.

“If you’d like to help get the Palladium back open, please encourage your friends, your family and your political leaders to act responsibly and do everything they can to keep this virus in check until a vaccine is available,” Wilborn wrote.

Tampa Bay venues and promoters need you to bug Marco Rubio about saving the live music scene.

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Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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