When the switch that turned off our ability to enjoy live music flipped the second week of March 2020, all the challenges that could get in the way of getting things up and running again were unknown, undefined, unexpected. My speculation as an enthusiast/fan was that once the path forward was officially presented, venues would be scrambling to get people back in front of their stages again. While it’s obvious that any establishment’s desire would be to achieve this as quickly as possible, in many cases it has taken longer than anticipated.
Surprisingly, outdoor festivals ended up being best positioned to make a go at it with lineups from the prior years canceled shows still mostly intact, matched with the ability to bring back established “seasonal” crews without having to go through a whole re-hiring process.
Much in contrast, the road back for full time indoor venues has been far from automatic. Having to re-hire most of their staffs while also waiting on promised Governmental assistance, plus trying to solve the puzzle of re-booking canceled shows or scheduling new appearances with artists trying to figure the same circumstance out for themselves simply has taken time to work through.
While some smaller venues managed to get up and running a bit quicker (mostly with performances by local talent), Dakota is amongst the core group of Twin Cities venues who have positioned themselves to be back to functioning in a fashion near to normal starting in October.
Dakota officially announced the return of Live Music and Great Food kicking-off September 10th with a special welcome back performance by an established favorite, Davina (and the Vagabonds) with Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Another benefit they have to offer from the work they accomplished while closed is a freshly updated menu developed by their new culinary team. They have also adopted the now pretty much expected health safety measure that will require guests to show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test result.