"You must be so happy that Maryland's moving to Phase 3 this Friday! Live music is back! Everything's okay now!" 😒 It's sweet of you all to reach out. But here's what Phase 3 actually means to Chugg:
As of Friday, September 4, 2020, Maryland concert halls and bars/restaurants (hereinafter "Venues") are officially allowed to schedule and host live music with a live audience, so long as Governor Hogan's Phase 3 Guidelines are followed, which encompass the Secretary of Health's guidelines. Any Venues still standing may actually one day get back to "normal."
1. Some Venues economically succumbed to CV-19, such as our precious Flanagan's Harp N Fiddle in Bethesda, The Soundry in Columbia, and so on. So there went those gigs for those musicians.
2. I have decided that Chuggalug will continue to generally not accept any indoors work, regardless of loosened health restrictions and executive orders. Fall is just around the corner, so we likely won't work much during the fall or winter.
3. Most Maryland Venues ignored the executive orders disallowing live music with a live audience. Some were caught and fined. Others, thankfully, were not. Those Venues' schedules are already booked at least through the end of the year because they never really stopped having live music.
4. Financially speaking: A) Some Venues won't be able to afford to hire us because they got hit too hard financially. B) Other Venues, as we've learned, can afford to hire us, but choose not to pay for live music.
C) Yet other Venues, as we've learned, can afford to hire us, offered to hire us, but hit us below the belt with regards to compensation and lack of professional courtesy. It equates to price gauging. It's the epitome of taking advantage of our sympathy, while obtusely ignoring that Charlie and I lost our entire livelihood. We have the utmost sympathy for our compatriots in the restaurant/bar business! But if I lower our fee out of compassion and goodwill, I simply ask Venues to meet us in the middle in other hospitable ways.
5. The local live music scene was grotesquely over-saturated before CV-19. Bands/Musicians were already undercutting each other just for the opportunity to carry out their hobby and perform for their buddies. We full-timers already had to fight all of that just to keep our career afloat. Now that there are fewer gigs than ever out there, chances are next to nil that Chugg, who asks for fair compensation, is going to get back to 3-5 gigs/week in the foreseeable future.
6. Booking gigs is a full-time hassle and hustle for gigs which are usually booked 6-12 months in advance. Gigs are booked far in advance. Chugg isn't going to just magically start playing music again.
All is not grim. Everyone in the Chuggalug band family has thankfully remained healthy! ❤ Charlie is enjoying his "fake retirement" LOL. He grumbles when we have to schlep equipment every now and then hehehe. Neither Charlie nor PJ has ever gone more than 2 weeks without a gig since becoming adults. So it's still weird! But we have each other, which is worth more than any gig.
We miss you all terribly. We haven't even been socializing with anyone outside of our household and immediate family, barring gigs. Besides, being unemployed isn't a great time to hang out spending money at a bar LOL. If you feel like it, drop us a line and let us know how you're doing!