Covid Pushes Fragile Musicians to the Brink
As the path of covid veers off course, can an international touring band make the right turn?
New York blues-rock singer/songwriter Sari Schorr (www.sarischorr.com) — described by RawRamp Magazine as “one of the best contemporary blues-rock singers in the world” — is eagerly preparing for her 2021 autumn tour, which features shows across Europe, including the UK, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, and The Netherlands.
“I’ve spent much of the last 18 months in isolation. I struggle with depression and obsessive thinking. Being grounded from touring has been a persistent stressor.” says Sari Schorr.
Touring musicians and their crews have been hit hard during the pandemic, and continue even now as mitigation measures are lifted. There are still hurdles, obstacles, and pitfalls aplenty. Sari Schorr has faced such stumbling blocks first-hand and can give honest insights into the challenges facing an international touring band.
Sari laments, “It feels like a frantic game of Whack-A-Mole as Covid restrictions and quarantine mandates pop up every day. My tour diary has been revised so many times Neil Young would say, ‘the devil fools with the best-laid plans.’”
“Every change in the schedule wreaks havoc with our tour,” Sari points out. “Mandatory quarantines for 5 or 10 days are a financial hit we can’t afford. As a result, we’ve just had to cancel shows in The Netherlands and Switzerland. We love touring the UK, but we depend on the income from mainland Europe and losing shows puts the entire tour in jeopardy.”
Sari sighs, “As restrictions ease throughout Europe, last-minute bookings are coming in, but we’re struggling to find affordable flights and accommodations at short notice. An international tour can take six months of planning, but operating under the pandemic affords bands little more than a few weeks of hasty preparation. The short lead-time also presents a financial risk since proper promotion is curbed. Besides, we fear audiences may not yet return to live music in pre-covid numbers.”
Sari says, “The complications don’t stop there. Rules on mask-wearing, proof of double-vaccination, and/or COVID-negative tests vary from venue to venue across the entire tour. There is so much confusion and uncertainty, you can’t escape the anxiety.”
“I realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” says Sari, “but my priority is to keep my band and fans safe. I support a venue’s option to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The best we can do is work with venues to make sure they are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe.”
As for getting back on the road as a musician, despite the challenges, obstacles, and roadblocks, the ever-resilient and committed Sari is looking forward to returning to touring, bringing her electrifying powerhouse modern-day soul & blues back to her fans, live and in person.
Sari says, “The pandemic has made us all face circumstances beyond our control. I’m acknowledging the psychological impact while incorporating a sense of resilience by changing my perspective on things. I remind myself that freedom is having the opportunity to dream. And, COVID can’t kill my dreams.”
For further details of the tour and updates, check out Sari’s social media and website.
Website: http://www.sarischorr.com/ Twitter: @SariSchorr Facebook: @SariSchorrMusic