Jerry Michaelson, Chicago, March Of 2020 discussed on Anna Davlantes
I think what the interesting things to talk about here is how our concerts going to proceed. And for that we have the perfect person to talk to. Jerry Michaelson is the owner of Jam Productions. Legendary jam productions here in Chicago. Jerry. Thanks for calling in to WGN. Appreciate it. You're welcome. Thank you. What is? What do you make of what happened with Cove with Lollapalooza and the covid concerns? Were you a fan of that going on the way it did. What do you think about it? Look, I think that it's good to open up the city. Um I think that the mayor made the right choice. Um, because life has to go on and we can't sit in incentive. Our our apartments and homes all the time, so I think was the right move. Um, you know, we're dealing with a virus that's ever changing with different variants. And, uh, I think that everybody expected a little different outcome. Um, because so many people are not getting vaccinated, so I don't think anybody could have predicted that That percentage would be so high that 90% you mean of the vaccination rate at La LA is every time Well, not not that just that that that the variant is living and breathing because so many people haven't gotten vaccinated. And I don't think anybody could have anticipated that back when you're making a decision about whether or not to open Lalla or not. Yeah, I hear you on that jury. So I wonder. How does that impact concerts going forward? What kinds of decisions to be made your front and right in the middle of that? What are the considerations? How's it going to go? Yeah. So we don't look, we're won't. Well, it's kind of a, you know, trying to hit a moving target. We're certainly going to follow all of the CDC guidelines and the cities and states. Um, um as well, Um, so, for instance, you know, now we have to have all our patrons wearing masks, which were fine with Um, So that's what we're doing now. The next steps are going to going to, you know, be prescribed to us by by the powers that be and will follow those as well. Um, don't forget that they had to shut down in March of 2020. And and we just reopened so You know, whatever they tell us to do. We're perfectly willing to, uh, go with the program. Yeah. And are there Are you hearing from anybody like concert goers about asking about the safety and things like that, or is Are people just saying, Hey, you know, I'm Baxter. I feel good about it. I want to go to concerts. Time for me to live my life as you just mentioned. Are you hearing much? You know, questioning from the concert? Gore, you know concertgoers in general, about what kinds of things you're doing. I'm just sure sure we're hearing from but we know we just opened this weekend. So we're not. We're not in the thick of it. We opened for some LA LA after shows. Um, but now we open up in August and really in September, So we're not feeling the brunt of the questions. Yes, but yet, but they are coming in. And and we are fielding them and answering them in the way that that hopefully provide a response that makes them comfortable. Um, I think it boils down to whether or not somebody is comfortable going out or not. Um, that's that's the key issue, it seems, is is if they're vaccinated, they feel they're safe. Um, and even if they do get the variant, they think they're still okay. So most people are pretty positive about it. Yeah, and I heard the mayor and doctor are Woody, who has been a very cautious person. Throughout all of this. She's an infectious disease expert herself. Talk about sure we will have cases. But if you're vaccinated, they are likely to be serious. You're not likely to get seriously ill and that she felt as if we could go on with this whole thing. The mayor cited Wrigley Field's been packed socks. Park's been packed. Why not Grant Park for this kind of a music concert? Kind of signaling that, you know they're going to be okay with things moving forward? If law can be done, and a lot of folks call that the largest event they've seen the United States since Covid began, Uh, I haven't fact check that. But it just seems like a lot of news organizations are calling it that it was certainly huge, nearly 400,000 people over a few days that I guess people may be looking at what happens there in the next 10 days or so to see right that that matters. I think you're correct. Just as people have been following, Um, what happened after them All the bucks rallies after they won the NBA championship. So you know, that's been a topic of of of of the in the news lately, So, Yeah, everybody happened there watching every year. I never heard anything. Well, I believe that the the infection rates increased after everybody was outside the arena after they won the championship. So I think that that's to be expected. When you have that many people coming together, right and and partying. And shouting in sandy shoulder to shoulder. I guess the other meaningful data would be to look at would be hospitalizations in serious illness and that kind of thing so you you've got to look at that to the United Center. I looked on online, and it seems as if they're not starting any other concerts until I don't know. Fall. It looks like September October, Things start getting back. Normal is that kind of true of most indoor places, the larger scale ones, or how would you describe what's happening? I thought they had something coming up at the I thought they already had a concert. But I might be wrong Did we couldn't see anything on the schedule for you Know, look at the United Center is a perfect example of a really good indoor building. Who's who? The city tested. As I understand it, the city tested their air and their air. Circulation and it was came in. And it was. It was one grade above hospital level in one grade below. I see you. So I'd say that's pretty good and and and and so people think indoors is not as safe. I I disagree, especially, you know if you take our theaters, which are older, older buildings Who have great capacities to take outside here from in and circulate it and get it out. So, um, I think we're moving air in a responsible way and trying to reduce the amount of viruses that that can be floating around. During Covid. We saw so many artists try to turn to virtual concerts. I don't know how well that went. How How would you describe it? And do you think that that's one of those things that will linger after the pandemic? Or as things sort of subside? Or do you think that's sort of like, didn't work at all? What would you say? I think I think you know, streaming and concerts and things like that are good. Add on. They will never replace the experience of being in a shell. So I think that people want to socialize. They want to hear the music live, so I don't see that as a a major alternative, But just as an add on to which we're already experiencing, what do you have coming up jury that you can tell us about? We have some great shows coming up. We have my factor in in a little less than two weeks. We have a a group called Brit Floyd at the Chicago Theater, which is one of the best Pink Floyd bands out there, and we have widespread panic. And we have, uh um Elvis Costello, November we have sylvan Esso. I mean, we have bleachers. I mean, we have a number of good shows coming up that we hope people will go out and and listen to. Then What are your venues again? That you're mostly you mostly work with Well, so we have the park West. The vic and the Rive And we also work at the United Center at the Chicago Theater, the auditorium Allstate Arena. So we're all over the place. Jerry Michaelson. There he is. The owner of Jam Productions, the legendary jam productions Right here in the city of Chicago. If you've been to a concert here, you've likely been to a jam productions. Event over the last few decades. Pretty incredible what Jerry and his team have pulled off..