Live entertainment organizers demand state develop plan to bring back concerts, other large events

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:04 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Live event organizers are demanding the state develop a clear plan to bring back concerts and other large gatherings.

The people who put on big shows in Hawaii say the state is at risk of losing access to host big names like Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson and Cardi B for a long time if action isn’t taken now.

One of the state’s largest concert promoters, Rick Bartalini Presents, is calling out Gov. David Ige to come up with a plan to bring back concerts and other large shows.

Bartalini and other local industry leaders sent the governor a letter Friday morning saying they realize the shutdown was necessary, but now ― going on 13 months without revenue ― their businesses can’t last much longer.

Promoters say there will be a huge trickle-down effect and that “Hawaii will lose valuable personnel, specialized skill sets, and essential equipment, which would put the entire industry at peril.”

They compare Hawaii’s favorable COVID statistics and vaccination rate to that of California’s — a state that is planning to fully reopen on June 15.

Of course, California’s hospital capacity is much greater than Hawaii’s. And state leaders here are concerned that our hospitals would not be able to handle a surge in COVID cases.

Hawaii News Now has reached out to the Gov. Ige’s office for comment, but have yet to hear back.

Some of these companies say they have applied for those Shuttered Venue Operations Grant through the Small Business Administration but say even with the assistance, their future is dire without a plan to get back to work.

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