Cold and COVID are canceling Minnesota concerts, New Year's Eve parties

29December 2021

Between rising COVID cases and falling temperatures, entertainment venues around the state have been canceling and postponing events this week.

Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights decided to not to open for its final day of the season Monday because of strong winds and heavy snow. “It just is not safe to have so many people driving and putting our volunteers out in these weather conditions,” the group posted on its Facebook page.

Treasure Island postponed the Beach Boys “Holiday Harmonies” show, scheduled for Wednesday. The band also postponed a show scheduled for Friday in Connecticut.

Upcoming live music performances at several smaller venues, including the Turf Club in St. Paul and Mortimers in Minneapolis, have been called off, too.

Minneapolis’ First Avenue/7th St. Entry moved several shows scheduled for this week — the Suburbs, Dessa and BLOOD $MOKE BODY among them — to mid-February.

Icehouse, the Nicollet Avenue restaurant and club, had to scramble to replace its New Year’s Eve lineup after drummer JT Bates, of Fat Kid Wednesdays, discovered he had a breakthrough COVID infection.

“I’m lucky and grateful I’m vaxxed and it’s been mild for me, but I’m going to keep my 10-day quarantine,” Bates posted on Instagram Tuesday night.

Instead, his brother Chris Bates will play an early trio set followed by Dave King Trucking Company. The club’s bookers took it in stride: “As Gershwin said best, ‘Life is a lot like jazz. It’s best when when you improvise,'” they posted.

New Years’ Eve parties have been canceled at First Avenue, the Armory and the amusement center Can Can Wonderland. In a press release, Can Can Wonderland shared that though all staff are vaccinated, some employees have had breakthrough cases, and that they decided to proactively shut down through Jan. 5.

“I’m confident that this is the right thing to do right now, but rest assured that we are dreaming up a diverse roster of really fun happenings for 2022,” director of operations Tony Perella said in the statement.

Even outdoor events, which are less likely to transmit COVID, are closing down due to cold. GLOW Holiday Festival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds decided to end its run a day early, due to the forecast of sub-freezing weather. Saturday will be the last day guests can attend.

The Minnesota Orchestra’s weekend concerts are still on — but they’ll sound different than planned. Due to COVID-related visa delays, Finnish soprano Helena Juntunen, who was set to be the soloist on three songs by composer Jean Sibelius, could not travel to Minnesota. Instead, the solos will be performed by violinist Stella Chen.

More cancellations and postponements are expected; best to call before you head to an event.

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