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A long time between sets

Winterruption turns on the stage lights again
after a two year COVID-ruption
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The Winterruption concert venue at the Starlite Room sits empty and ready for musicians and audience, Sunday, March 27.

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A server checks her inventory.

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A hand sanitizer and coin jar share the Starlite's bar counter.

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More coin jars wait for patrons to fill them with tips.

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Empty shot glasses stand ready to be pressed into service.

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A couple of concertgoers share a drink, while others wait outside the Starlite Room.

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Waiting for the show to begin.

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Concertgoers socailize before the first show.

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A sound technician sets up his mixing board before the show.

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A technician prepares for the show.

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The crowd perks up as MILQ prepares to take the stage.

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Finally, after two years, live music!

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Concertgoers enjoy the first performance by MILQ.

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Photo feature by Tim Johnson

IN THE MIDST of the darkness that fills the empty Winterruption concert venue of the Starlite Room, technicians’ faces are lit by their tablets and computer monitors, as they make final preparations for the first performance.

Outside the venue, a small trickle of concertgoers arrives at the front entrance with some people eagerly peeking through the door in anticipation of the show to come.

β€œIt’s been a long time since you were allowed to go out and just enjoy yourself and not worry about everything else going on,” concertgoer Kale Wolen says.

Following the recent liftings of most COVID restrictions in the province, some people have already begun to move on with their lives and live with the virus.

In a Jan. 31 Angus Reid survey, 54 per cent of respondents agreed that it was time for COVID restrictions to be reduced across Canada and to allow Canadians to manage their own risks.

Wolen and his friend, Jacob Holowaty both say that it feels like a relief to come to the event and finally spend time with their friends, after months of isolation.

‘I’m excited for what’s to come, and just being
able to spend time with friends’

β€œI’m excited for what’s to come, and just being able to spend time with friends,” Holowaty says. “Not hanging out at home anymore, and being able to go to bars and go to music venues again,”

As Wolen and Holowaty enjoy their time socializing and drinking, concertgoers continue to stream onto the empty venue floor, with most wearing or carrying masks, a sign that many are still taking precautions.

While Albertans are no longer required to wear masks indoors, many have chosen to keep wearing them, to help avoid spreading the virus.

In a March 15 survey, Angus Reid found that 60 per cent of respondents in Alberta supported requiring people to wear masks in public.

Meanwhile, at the Starlite, as the venue floor fills up with people, a video is projected onto the back of the stage, signalling the beginning of indie band MILQ’s set.

With their attention now focused on the stage, the audience members wait as the first band makes its way onto the stage and begins to give fans the performance that they have been waiting two years for.


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