The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another tradition.
For the first time in 25 years, concerts will not take place on Wednesday evenings in the summer. The Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, held annually on the lawn of Carmel City Hall, was canceled June 18 by the Fountain Square Committee, which oversees the annual series.
Melanie Brewer, a member of the Fountain Square Committee, said it was a tough decision.
“That’s why we first canceled the month of June (concerts) because we had hopes of COVID-19 getting better and we’d have less cases and things would loosen up a little bit,” Brewer said.
Brewer said the highest risk the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website mentions are large in-person gatherings where it’s difficult for people to remain 6 feet apart.
“Our concerts are jam-packed on that lawn,” Brewer said. “Thinking about having volunteers out there managing spacing out and wearing masks, overall safety is our biggest concern, and that didn’t sound like a scenario that would to be reasonable to ask from anybody.”
Brewer said the mission is to have the concerts on the lawn of City Hall.
“So, it didn’t make sense for us to change venues,” she said.
Brewer said the committee didn’t want to keep having the bands put their schedules on hold for such a long period of time without a decision.
“For the interest of their schedules, we went ahead and canceled the whole season and look forward to 2021 and hoping that will be a good one for us,” Brewer said.
The committee explored the possibility of virtual concerts but decided the atmosphere of live events could not be recreated adequately by watching a band through a streaming device or television.