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Entertainment industry still struggling as COVID-19 cases rise again

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Posted at 10:57 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 23:57:12-04

Bands, comedians, and other live acts are starting to hit the stage again, after missing more than a year due to COVID-19 but since cases are sharply rising across the nation again there are still problems.

“It is kind of difficult, I’m used to getting out their face to face," said Local Hip Hop Artist Leon Hinton. "I do hope we’ll be able to face to face but as it stands now it will probably be virtual."

Comedian Lav Luv said most major venues are shut down or only offering low capacity.

“It’s only certain places that are allowing 100 percent capacity in certain clubs and comedy clubs," said Lav Luv. "Only in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. Everywhere else it’s still like 60 percent capacity caps but for people like me that ain’t good."

Local hip hop artist Leon Hinton said even if there are more opportunities for him to perform... he does not want to risk his health with the Delta Variant fueling the latest surge.

“Knowing how the pandemic is and that there’s a higher case of people catching it, I kinda stepped back from it," said Hinton. "It was due to the fact I didn’t want my kids getting sick or I didn’t want to get sick in the midst of it."

Hinton said he works on a few shows in person but most online.

“I still release a lot of storms Digital on most platforms," said Hinton. "If it is like performance-wise or something like that I just do a virtual until it lowers down."

Darryl Walker with Twice as Funny Comedy Lounge said they have brought comedians and live acts to Killeen every weekend to perform, and right now businesses look okay.

“The seats are very low compared to before the pandemic because everyone understood that you can't get as much money, because we can’t put as many people in here," said Walker. "It’s great for us because it kept us working."

While they bring in bigger acts for less money, they are still limiting capacity, pushing masking and CDC guidelines to keep the crowds safe while they start to enjoy live performances once again.