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Live music events making a comeback in the RGV

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With more and more people in the Valley getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, live music is making a comeback.

From Tejano to Shoegaze, musicians across the Valley are known for adding their own 956 flare to their art. But to some, it’s more than just noise; its history weaved into art.

Patrick Garcia is a show booker and promoter in the Rio Grande Valley. He says the local music scene is essential because it is a “reflection of the cultural history, [and] the racial and socio-economic history” in the area.

But he says it all started crumbling down last spring when the pandemic hit.

“I had several events that were booked and basically sold out,” Garcia said. “[Shows] that had to be canceled.”

Those canceled events meant canceled gigs for Valley musicians, something Garcia said was challenging for many local artists.

“There are musicians that rely on that extra income,” Garcia said. “Even those who didn’t get paid a whole lot. They rely on it in some way for some sort of sustenance.”

But there is a ray of hope shining through for local performers. Live events are opening back up at varying capacities while many hosts continue encouraging the use of face masks.

Seeing the slow comeback of live events is a good sign for people like Garcia, involved in the music scene. He says he’s cautiously optimistic.

“We are an overworked community— an impoverished community,” he said. “For a lot of people, live music is as much as an expression of art and culture as it is a release.”

Garcia says the Valley will start seeing an increase in live events coming with the start of summer, and most live events will be back by the fall.

He says the return of live music in the Valley will help breathe life back into the community.

“It’s an expression. It’s an art form. It’s a reflection of the self and society.”

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