Music fans eagerly waiting for Schoepf’s Free Texas Music Series to have its first outdoor summer concert will have to wait at least one more week.
The venue decided to cancel tonight’s event, which was to feature Josh Ward, to remain in compliance with state and local capacity regulations put in place due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to open,” owner Ronnie Schoepf said. “If it were up to us yes we’d have a full band for those who wanted to see it with social distancing, but we believe it may be better to allow for the opening of 50 percent.”
“Fifty percent” refers to Gov. Greg Abbot’s announcement on Monday that will allow restaurants to increase capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent, starting Friday.
So while the outdoor concert series hasn’t begun yet, Schoepf’s has been livestreaming Backroom Sessions on Facebook.
This week the session will feature Canaan Bryce.
Schoepf’s, which has implemented a drive-through service during the pandemic, will open its dining room on Friday, complying with the 50 percent occupancy guidelines. It will continue the drive-through service as well for now.
The governor had previously announced restaurants could allow indoor seating at 25 percent capacity, but Schoepf, like many restaurant owners, opted to keep theirs closed, saying opening wasn’t a viable option financially.
Schoepf said he’s had questions and sought clarification on outdoor venues, as he feels there hasn’t’ been clear guidelines, noting that while he has not resumed the outdoor series, some venues in Austin had.
More venues across the state will hold outdoor events this weekend, and Schoepf will be paying attention.
“We’ll be able to see what’s transpiring,” he said. “I know other people have things planned next weekend, so with everybody asking questions, maybe there will be more clarification, if any is needed, or the obvious will be stated by people doing things and that appearance will help us have a better understanding if (government officials are) opposed to it.”
Barring any setbacks, the venue will now hold its first outdoor concert of the season next Thursday, with local favorite Brandon Rhyder as the headliner.
“Hopefully we will have live music very, very soon,” Schoepf said.