Elly on the Arts: Socially distanced concerts coming at Blueberry Jam stage

We hope that you are reading today’s issue of The Reminder in a safe and healthy frame of mind and body. With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions moving into phase three, we are currently in the two week questioning period, asking if there are going to be any repercussions from the latest round of loosening restrictions. Manitobans have been so lucky and mindful of the restrictions to date. Let’s hope we stay that way.

The Flin Flon Trout Festival is capitalizing on the new safety guidelines by partnering with the Flin Flon Arts Council and the COVID-19 Resistance Music series to bring you the first outdoor live music performances of the new reality. On June 28, on the Blueberry Jam main stage in the Flinty’s Campground, they will present The Usual Suspects live in concert.

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There are significant health and safety rules that will be strictly adhered to, to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. The province has mandated that people may gather in groups of 100 if the outdoor site is large enough and the festival stage viewing area certainly is. Because cleaning and sanitizing washrooms between users would be impossible, the 100 audience members will be treated to a one hour concert and will have to return home to use the facilities.

People will be asked to come to the Dadson Row gate of the park 30 minutes before showtime and follow the directions of the parking attendants on duty. They will have 25 minutes to return to their cars and exit the area when the show is over. The organizers ask that everyone maintains the two metre social distance between family groups when walking to and from their vehicles.

At the stage area, seating will be assigned and the audience will need to remain within their family area. There are no bad seats, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem. People will need to bring their own chairs in the interests of harm reduction. Sitting on the ground would be allowed but sightlines could not be guaranteed as many folks would have camp chairs.

The band will play two separate one hour sets at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to make sure as many people can see them as possible. The time between is needed to allow one audience to leave and the next one to come in without contact (one of the provincial rules). All of this information and more is available when you order your tickets online. Go to the Flin Flon Trout Festival website (just enter Flin Flon Trout Festival in your search line) and click on the “more” button. You will see “Trout Festival Music Series” and if you click on that, you will get the ticketing information. Tickets are $10 per person.

The column reads more like “Elly on the Rules” than “Elly on the Arts” for which we apologize, but if we don’t all abide by the rules there will be no arts to talk about at all. That would be a real shame for our Music City North. Also, we live to make musical guru Keith Reed happy as his sister Sheena is hard at work organizing the Trout Festival Canada Day parade so likely has no time to worry about her brother, but we care. Live music is coming back, Keith - just for you.

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