KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Many live performances are now coming back to West Michigan after COVID-19 canceled them more than a year ago.
The Kalamazoo State Theatre closed its doors to live, in-person performances around 15 months ago, but it's not wasting any time ramping up for its first performance with no restrictions next month.
"The fact that we are getting to open the doors and welcome people back in is just so exciting at this point," said Kalamazoo State Theatre Director of Marketing & Development Harry Phillips.
It was a long 15 months for the Kalamazoo State Theatre after having to close its doors mid-March of last year to live, in-person entertainment.
The passing time also came with many unknowns, modifying the way people could support artists and watch performances. Until restrictions were lifted at the beginning of the month, Phillips said the industry had no idea what the future looked like.
"The fact that we can just open the doors and let people back in, and hopefully bring them some sense of that normalcy and that escape that live music and live entertainment has always done. That is the best part for us," said Phillips.
After a year of cancellations for live, in-person music & entertainment, the Kalamazoo State Theatre is planning for its first performance since 2020 with no restrictions.— Lauren Kummer (@LaurenKummerTV) July 6, 2021
The theatre says it already has 20 shows scheduled but will have about 35 by the end of the month. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/EaFGsj7ZuL
The Kalamazoo State Theatre has already scheduled 20 shows with even more to be announced by the end of the month.
Its first show back with an in-person, indoor performance with no restrictions will be held on August 27.
"From the one show that we put on sale, you can see that people just can’t wait. They can’t wait to go. If you get a show that they are the least bit interested in, they want that experience back right away. They really do. People have been cooped up for way too long," said Phillips.
The Kalamazoo State Theatre will still keep around some pandemic-era measures like hand sanitizer, touchless pay options and even mobile tickets.
It's all to make concert and performance-goers feel comfortable to come back.
"For us, we are just very appreciative of that support. We are appreciative of the community. We just can’t wait to see downtown back to where it was, and we can’t wait for August 27th, our first big show," said Phillips.
For a list of upcoming Kalamazoo State Theatre performances, dates and times, or to purchase tickets, click here.