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Iowa live music venues look for ‘resurgence’ with warmer weather in 2021

Venues are looking to build momentum following lifted restrictions
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 10:34 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - “I’m grateful for every time I hit the stage,” musician Ivy Ford said.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds lifted Iowa’s mask mandate and capacity restrictions for businesses just a few weeks ago, restaurants, bars, and live music venues like Gypsy Highway in Davenport are looking to bounce back.

“Now that we’re starting to see a turn for the better I think more and more the artists are anxious to get back out there and play music again you know it’s one of those things they really enjoy doing and you know live music makes us all feel better,” Gypsy Highway President Virgil Richardson said.

Although the past year hasn’t come without challenge.

“It’s been a challenge, fortunately for us, we’re a restaurant as well so we’re able to do the takeout food, the Quad City emergency takeout page that was founded there did a lot for us as far as a lot of our takeout food that we did,” Richardson said, “We got people that got mixed feelings some go strong one way and some go strong the other way.”

“I jokingly say I say ‘hey, we’re going to go jump off a cliff’ and they say ‘hey, what time do you want us to be there’ so it helps on my end to have a really dedicated team,” Ford said.

Ford, hoping to see a more manageable Summer.

“I think, hopefully, this Summer coming up man it’s going to be rocking and rolling and people will be having a good time,” Ford said, “I hope that the outlook means that we’re going to be coming back bigger and stronger and better than ever.”

Richardson, in the same spot as Ford, as Gypsy Highway looks to expand their outdoor venue.

“One of the things we did immediately last year is we extended our outdoor patio and we built an outside pavilion so I know some people are comfortable going back to indoors but not everybody is so one of the plans that we have is to continue to extend our outdoor offering there so we can do kind of a mix of some outdoor shows and some indoor shows,” Richardson said, “When outdoor shows become more available I think we’ll see the crowd size increase.”

For now, both Ford and Richardson will have to wait for the Midwest to thaw before Spring.

“I’m all about if you got lemons make some lemonade so we’ve been able to take advantage of every opportunity possible,” Ford said.

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