Lakeside music and the “Red Button”
Venues will shift schedules and postpone some events, while they hope that it is only two weeks long.
Dharma’s on the Ajijic Malecon will have to discontinue its popular Sunday afternoon concerts, like this one last week with Lete Gibney.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Governor Alfaro of Jalisco pushed the red button Wednesday with an announcement on the state’s website https://botondeemergencia.jalisco.gob.mx/. The restrictions will last for 14 days but may be extended if Covid cases don’t level off. Practically this means his measure will take effect throughout the state of Jalisco as of Friday, October 30 and last until Friday, November 13. During two included weekends there will be a stoppage of activities from 6:00 in the morning on Saturday and until 5:59 in the morning the following Monday.
The website lists events that can and can’t be held, times that events and restaurants and other establishments can be open, and protocols required. The restrictions vary somewhat with the location – different rules apply in Chapala and Puerto Vallarta– but in general, commercial activities must close by 7 on weekdays and cannot continue on weekends. This includes restaurants bars, buses, and private social events. (our thanks to Kerry Watson of Chapala Health Talk Facebook group for her excellent reporting on the announcement)
In Chapala (including Riberas, San Antonio, Ajijic, etc), the main areas and activities that will be shut down during restricted hours include plazas, the Lakeside malecons, public markets and tianguis ,flea markets and organic markets, sports areas/teams and urban forests, religious ceremonies and meetings of more than 10 people, and open or closed event centers.
This will be a blow to the restaurant and entertainment sector in Lakeside, but the impact will vary. Laguna conducted a nonscientific telephone survey of music venues to get an idea of how they plan to respond to the two week-long – and possibly longer – red button restrictions. In general, many venue owners looked for ways to continue providing live music. These efforts ranged from concerts at Casa Domenech from 5 -7 on the nights its is open – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fri, to Adelita’s in San Antonio Tlaycapan which will offer music only one night a week, on Thursdays.
Venues like Gossips that only had music on weekends, will eliminate music for the red button period. Others like Meraki’s will continue their weekday music schedule, but just move it earlier, to 4 pm to 5 or so. Meraki’s has the flexibility to move its music completely outside, which it will do, to insure social distancing, an option not available to all venues.
Some venues will have to postpone live music, but will draw business with open mic nights, like La Bodega . The venue hopes a 25% discount on drinks will make up for business lost because of the lack of live music.
Dharma’s may be the local venue most impacted because it is the only music and food venue on the Ajijic Malecon and will lose its popular Sunday afternoon concerts, although it will offer music on Wednesday nights.
Owner, Ayrton Adrian lamented the impact of the closure of the Malecon, saying. “yes, this will totally hurt business. We are the only place on the Malecon with music. Shutting down from the Malecon will hurt us, especially because we will lose our weekend business. We will alert your customers that we are open and that take out is available on weekend, but no music.”
The general consensus of the venue operators Laguna talked with is that they hope it is only two weeks; they will lose business without the music and weekend business, and will try to make it up with take-out and deliveries, but for two weeks it won’t be fatal. Ray Domenech of Casa Domenech pointed out the impact on the music community and mentioned that one reason he was determined to offer music on the nights he was opened was to keep supporting the artists that support him.
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