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Silence in Seattle: What Happened When Music Left its Capital?

Young M.A left the Neumos stage after rapping to an excited audience. As the lights rose, audience members began to clear out of the last concert they would see this year, while Neumos security, bartenders and box-office employees unknowingly worked their last shift on March 10 around 11:30 p.m.. 

The unbridled joy of watching your favorite artist on stage and the rush of a mosh pit was taken, without warning, by an invisible virus. The music industry is changing, along with the lives of musicians, industry workers and concert-goers alike. 

As venues would be in the midst of their busiest season and artists would be approaching their most profitable time of the year, the bleak nature of the music industry is now at an all time high. Now musicians and venue employees face unemployment, while music lovers are left with a digital figment of the scene that once was. The Seattle music industry is dead for the foreseeable future, and if COVID-19 persists the way it is now, its disappearance may be permanent. 

When COVID-19 hit Seattle, it hit hard, shutting down all live music in one fatal swoop. Concerts scheduled for the spring were immediately postponed or canceled as artists and venue workers watched their livelihoods disappear. Neumos’s talent buyer, Evan Johnson, has experienced these difficulties firsthand. 

“What sucks about it is we were going into March and April, the second busiest time of the year,” Johnson said. “We had five shows scheduled a week, and they were taken out from under us.”

For Enzo Malaspina, bassist for the indie band Ultra-Q, COVID-19has stripped him and his bandmates of crucial opportunities.

“Shows, tours and any hopes of being signed are slowed down,” Malaspina said. “I also haven’t played with my band since February.”

Malaspina expressed that the Seattle music scene has always been an exciting

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