Home Art & Entertainment Merriweather, on pause, looks to the future

Merriweather, on pause, looks to the future

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“We wake up every day wanting to put on shows.”

That’s how Merriweather Post Pavilion spokesperson Audrey Fix Schaefer describes her life right now. She also handles communication for the area venues I.M.P., 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre, The Anthem, and Live At 9:30.

Last year, these venues, combined, produced 768 shows. This year, Schaefer said, “we went from a thousand miles-per-hour to a sudden halt.”

But she and others are working toward the day when the shows will go on again. “We don’t know when that day will be,” said Schaefer, “because that is something decided by others.”

For now, the staff is remaining diligent about being ready to open the doors again. And, at Merriweather, there are some renovations going on despite the closure. The work is happening more slowly, since workers have to practice social distancing, but Merriweather concertgoers can look forward to a new headquarters for merchandise sales (think concert T-shirts, posters and blankets), a new beer garden with a new customer service space attached, and a new set of restrooms.

“There’s a lot we had on our list to do and we’re getting it done,” said Schaefer.

Landscaping continues at Merriweather as well, with the knowledge that “one day, we’ll get back,” said Schaefer. “The arts are something that is an escape for people, and Merriweather is a cultural touchpoint and a communal experience.”

During the period when Merriweather has remained closed because of COVID-19, Schaefer is surprised at how many people have shared what attending concerts means to them. “I just had a friend describe it as a spiritual experience,” she said, “and I think it’s related to that sense of community we all get.”

Throughout history, people have used concerts to get through tough times, Schaefer reflected, adding that she misses standing at the gate just before a show to watch people coming in the doors with anticipation and excitement.

“They’re transporting themselves to another place,” she said and when they’re ready to transport themselves again, Merriweather will be ready, too.

By Susan Kim | Staff Writer | The Business Monthly

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