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Washington live entertainment ban sends Spokane musicians to North Idaho

Starting on July 20, live entertainment in Washington state won't be allowed under Governor Jay Inslee's reopening plan.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Monday, live entertainment in Washington state will be not be allowed.

Musicians are trying to figure out what's next.

As it turns out, it could mean booking gigs in North Idaho.

Before the pandemic, Kyle Richard performed in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area several times a week. In between gigs, he would be recording in his home studio.

"I had, I don't know, how many gigs cancel right when COVID started. Maybe 40" Richard said. "It was like people panicked, it was bad. All the bar owners said, 'We'll get back to you, but for now it's cancelled'."

Credit: KREM
Kyle Richard

With live performances prohibited starting Monday, Richard said he plans to record more, and perform in North Idaho instead.

"Through September 4, all of my gigs are Friday and Saturday on the weekends in Idaho," Richard said. "If I didn't already have a bunch of bar owners that were in my contacts, I don't know what I'd do. It would be almost impossible to get gigs at that point."

Richard recognizes not all local musicians are as lucky to have these jobs lined up., but he expects many may begin to follow his lead.

"I hope so, I mean I think they should," Richard said.

And while restricting live entertainment will create difficulties. He is torn with sharing his passion for music and doing what it takes to keep everyone safe.

"I'm thinking this is dumb, but then I realize, I don't want my grandma to get sick or your grandma, her grandma, his grandma," Richard said.

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