New Orleans Will Allow Live Music – with Restrictions

NEW ORLEANS – In announcing the city’s move to Phase 3.2, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has given permission for live music to return to New Orleans stages – but with several notable exceptions: singing, karaoke, and wind-blown instruments will be prohibited indoors.

Stephen Perry of New Orleans & Company, the destination marketing organization that promotes the city to business and leisure travelers worldwide, said Thursday that he hopes the rules for musicians won’t stay so strict for long.

“Obviously, that keeps our music scene highly restricted and that impacts people’s decision to come to our city,” he said.

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Perry, who has famously clashed with the Mayor this year, said he hopes the city will find more creative solutions.

“I think arbitrarily saying, for example, that no one can sing or no one can blow a trombone or trumpet or brass instrument is not thinking out of the box,” he said. “I think there are ways you can provide safe distances and screens. Perhaps there are ways we could shield better than we do. Maybe there are ways to provide a greater distance between performers and patrons at Tipitina’s or Snug Harbor. I absolutely do think we should start with a lower number of people with access, though.”

Perry said the need to minimize crowds is a problem that will solve itself for now.

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“We’re not going to have massive crowds because we’re not going to have tourists at those levels,” he said. “You’re going to have a much smaller and very different tourist base. Our job is to get visitors here who will spend money at retail, enjoy our cultural attractions, go to our restaurants, stay at our hotels, spend money and help fuel the budget of the city of New Orleans and put people back to work.”

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