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'Chilling We Lost An Entire Year': Live Music Industry Hoping In-Person Performances Pick Back Up After Pandemic Shutdown

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Live music. There's just nothing like it. The vibe, the energy, the crowds.

Sadly, the setting of a perfect storm in a pandemic. It's been about a year since the curtain came down on live concerts globally.

"It's chilling we lost an entire year, and that's every single touring act internationally," said Adriane Biondo.

She's been in the live touring industry for decades, working with such names as Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Wiz Khalifa.

Biondo said the domino effect has been devastating.

"The venues, the folks that work at the venues. That's everything from trucks to buses to the hotels all the way to the mom and pop pizza joints and restaurants that are around the venues. Everything changed," she said.

South Florida's largest stadiums and arenas, such as Hard Rock Stadium, the BB&T, Hard Rock Live, and others went silent in 2020.

Gaby Pino is the director of programming at Miami's American Airlines Arena, where depending upon stage configuration, 12,000 to 15,000 fans fill the seats in a single show. She told CBS4's Lisa Petrillo it has been a devastating year for live music.

"Since March 2020, here at American Airlines Arena, we have either canceled, postponed or rescheduled approximately 30 concerts," she said.

And it's not just the big local arenas and stadiums who've suffered. It's South Florida's popular music festivals as well.  There's Ultra at Bayfront Park, Tortuga in Fort Lauderdale, Rolling Loud at Hard Rock Stadium – all postponed or canceled due to the pandemic.

David Sinopoli is the founder of III Points, a three-day, multi-genre music festival held at Maya Wynwood.

COVID forced Sinopoli to postpone twice last year. He said scheduling crews coming in from all over the world in these uncertain times remains a hurdle.

"There's a lot of acts that live in NY or overseas like in Berlin. They might have passport issues. They might not have the ability to get to the states or they can't gather 24 people to rehearse and get down to Miami to do the show," Sinopoli said. "It becomes a really tough juggling act in this ever-evolving situation of the pandemic."

Miami-born and raised R&B singer Teenear, who recently signed with local label Slip N Slide Records, released her single "Come See Me" just before shutdown with a big plan to roll it out.

"I didn't get to do that and I kind of had to stop everything and readjust and figure out an entirely new marketing plan," Teenear said.

She got creative and learned to edit, produced her own music video. Thousands danced to her new song on TikTok.

But it's still not the same.

"I know over quarantine we adapted to the whole live computer performances but it's not the same as being in front of people and actually feeling the energy," she said.

Some artists have found their outlet at smaller outside venues, like a recent socially distant concert called "Best of the Eagles" outside the Broward Center.

All in the business know live music will return, and this time it just may be stronger than ever.

"The ability to go and listen to live music together as human beings is a gift. That perspective to anybody that loves music is going to be shared. I think it's going to be a beautiful year of live music," Sinopli said.

And as the news of more and more vaccines become available, industry experts are hopeful that it will also prove to be a shot in the arm for live music, where everyone can come together once again through song and dance.

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