Local musicians struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Most local musicians have taken a huge financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and some are now concerned about new restrictions in Oklahoma.

Just last week, Gov. Kevin Stitt implemented a mandate that bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m.

This comes as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to skyrocket in our state.

Now some musicians who were already scraping by don’t know where to turn.

For six years, Midas 13 has performed at local venues in Oklahoma. Singer Amanda Martindale joined the group last year.

“It was going great and we were really busy and it was fun, and it just stopped,” she said.

COVID-19 restrictions are stopping bands like them in their tracks this year.

Martindale said she wasn’t eligible for unemployment but was able to secure a grant and a loan.

“But those ran out by September and then the gigs picked up which helped, but we’re a little worried about what’s going to happen now,” said Martindale.

This summer, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department is adding bars and restaurants to its “serious six” spots where many residents were contracting the virus.

Now, as cases and deaths continue to climb with no signs of slowing in Oklahoma, Stitt mandated last week that bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and take social distancing measures.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt implored people to do everything they can for the next 10 days to slow the spread.

“We’re trying to ride that fine line of being socially concerned and being very aware of the virus, at the same time, providing entertainment because these people are not staying inside,” said Aaron Dilley of Midas 13.

Health experts say that although some may be comfortable, they’re still spreading the disease to others who don’t take the risks.

That’s something the band members say they understand.

“You don’t know how they’re going to handle the rest of the world and are they going to be responsible elsewhere,” said Martindale.

The members of Midas 13 say while most musicians have other sources of income, their gigs are a big part of it, making it a tough time for everyone.

“And for the people who are struggling in the hospital too, it’s bad,” said Martindale. “It’s a conundrum. It’s a moral conundrum.”

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