What we found to be one of the craziest weekends downtown (in a good way) on our first go-around last year of being at our new location, “Car Show Weekend,” has unfortunately now officially been cancelled for this summer. The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival which takes place every year at the end of September and was slated to take place this year from September 25th-27th, has decided to pull the plug this year after growing concerns of the rise of COVID-19. From the festival’s facebook page:
The current status of the phased reopening in Illinois, coupled with an overabundance of caution has been the major force in driving this decision. We are fully planning to host the event in 2021 and will announce dates as soon as they are confirmed.
Participants who have pre-registered vehicles will automatically receive a refund. Please note it may take up to 30 days to receive your refund. You will receive an email once the cancellation is processed and you will see the credit to your credit card within 5-7 business days from that date.
The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival hosts and organizers appreciate your patience and support as we work through this unprecedented situation. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.
At this point every major downtown festival and event has been cancelled this summer, we’ll keep our site updated on more cancellations or news on what events are still happening. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown was originally re-scheduled for September as well, although the future is still unpredictable for events even at that time.
Yes, it is true. Yesterday Illinois officially moved into “phase 4” of our our re-opening plan, the fourth out of five stages of re-opening, with the next phase not coming until there is a vaccine or reliable treatment for COVID-19. We’ve been getting some questions as far as what this phase means for us or if this means we can start having shows yet. We’ll just address some of those questions and give a little update here.
Our physical was already able to open at phase 3, so with phase 4 we will remain open. You can expect an increase of our store hours announced at some point early next month. We will also likely announce an increase in the number of people we will allow at once in the store, which currently is at 4. Face masks are still strongly recommended if not required.
In phase 4 gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted. Technically this does mean we could get away with having shows inside our venue space to some extent if we limited the amount of attendees, but we are not ready to do this or even plan for it yet.
Instead of thinking about shows right now, we are more planning for the debut of the Dumb Arcade. We are not setting an opening date for this because we do not want a rush of people coming all at once, but you can expect the arcade to open at some point next month. When we announce the arcade’s debut we will also go over what precautions we will be taking to keep everyone safe.
In addition to all of this, parking downtown continues to be free throughout the month of July! You don’t need to put any money in those meters!
When do you think shows should return? Join the discussion on our forum.
Here is our big announcement to let you know that now that our state is moving on to “phase 3” from the looks of things on May 29th (one week from today) where non-essential businesses can open back up, we are choosing to open our physical doors back up on Monday, June 1st. We plan on operating for all of June on limited hours of noon – 6:00 pm at our location here downtown at 418 E. Monroe St. Along with re-opening for June, we are limiting the amount of people allowed in our space at once to five. Face masks are strongly recommended.
Starting June 1st, we will stop doing our regular “Deals-of-the-Day” featured deals so we can get back to focusing on the physical store. We will, however, still offer free local delivery on records or t-shirts purchased from us in advance through online. You can still find our discogs page active right here, and our storenvy site online right here.
As for shows, we definitely aren’t there yet. We can not project at what point we will be able to have live music again, and we are not scheduling any events at any point in the future still. If things go as planned and our state moves on to “phase 4” later this summer or in July, we have some other exciting projects to debut before we get to the point of being able to host live music again.
Earlier this week our governor and neighbor through the alleyway, JB Pritzker issued a detailed 5-phase plan to re-opening the state following the spread of the pandemic, called “Restore Illinois.” The full plan can be found right here on the state’s coronavirus response website.
Out of these 5-phases, we are currently on phase 2, and switched over to that phase at the start of this month. What does phase 2 mean for our store and venue space? Just that we are officially able to do deliveries and curbside pickup for orders as a non-essential business, which we are currently doing.
Phase 3 is the next phase, and that happens once the number of coronavirus cases has been stable or declining. For us, this phase means non-essential retail shops (our record store) can open back up. The earliest this phase can happen is May 29th. Also in this phase gatherings of people are limited to no more than 10. (So, we would also probably limit the number of people in our store to that).
Phase 4 happens when the number of patients being admitted to hospitals continues to decline. It is looking like the earliest this phase may happen right now is the end of June. That is when bars and sit-down dining in restaurants can open back up. Gatherings of 50 or fewer people are permitted at that point.
Phase 5 is the last phase and that only happens once there is a vaccine or highly effective treatment available. It’s very unclear how far off that may be. Once we are at this phase we can finally officially have live music events or festivals with no restrictions on gatherings of people.
While this mapping out of phases is a good thing to have, and gives us a look at what we have to look forward to – we are still going to make careful consideration on re-opening our store and venue on our own after each phase is hit. Wether or not we can “technically” have shows might be in question once we are in phase 4, but it might be safest for us to wait until we are in phase 5 to make that call ourselves. These are still uncertain times for us, and we want to make the best decisions we can moving forward with safety in mind.
An article in the City State section of today’s State Journal-Register touches on how some local musicians have been coping with shows cancelling in the area (and around the globe) due to COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order. Pictured above and in the article is Micah Walk of folk group Deep Hollow, who also gives guitar lessons and manages to do so now through webcam from his home. Steven Spearie also interviewed local solo artist Ben Bedford about how his upcoming tour dates were cancelled and how he is dealing with the cancellations. From the article:
All of that, woosh, gone,” said Bedford of the shows knocked out by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. “It makes me slightly nauseous to think of the amount of work and the amount of money that disappeared (from that).”
Now Bedford, who has spent nearly 15 years being a full-time musician, is trying a service called Patreon. For a monthly subscription, Bedford will offer patrons exclusive content not available on his website or other social media platforms, like videos, behind the scene glimpses from his life or songs or lyrics in progress.
Check out a link to the article online right here, or pick up the State Journal Register at your local… grocery store.
Find a link to Ben Bedford’s newly created Patreon page online right here!
One thing is for certain, and that is that we are the only ones affected by the coronavirus. Every single person in the entire… globe is probably affected in some way. Safety is most important right now, and lives are at risk.
Things are rapidly changing every day for what our business and other businesses are doing and how people are trying to cope with the virus and practice social distancing. We got the change to speak with Rachel Otwell of The Illinois Times along with other local businesses Graba Java and American Harvest about what we are doing in these times.
Back downtown, Dumb Records has canceled or postponed all upcoming shows, and won’t be scheduling more for the foreseeable future. The music store also functions as a performance space. Owner Brian Galecki is focused on selling some of his 6,000-plus vinyl records and CDs online. The operation is unique, as it runs on volunteer support. But it’s how Galecki makes ends meet.
Our online Discogs store can be found right here, and our online storenvy where shirts and more can be found right here. Our physical store is pretty much closed until further notice at this point (we are just here going through records and packing up orders).