High Dive’s first show of the year is making use of both the screen and the stage.
The Friday show will feature Driptones, Causa and Neverless and will have a hybrid format that will be in place for the coming months. High Dive will operate at limited capacity with extensive safety guidelines for in-person attendees while also livestreaming the show for those watching at home.
The venue, including the outdoor beer garden, opens at 8 p.m. The livestream starts at 8:30 p.m., and the show begins at 9 p.m. In-person tickets are $10 at the door, while livestream attendance is employing a “pay-what-you-want” scale, according to High Dive’s website. The show is 18+ unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and a $3 under-21 fee will be charged at the door.
Friday is the first in a series of live music weekends for High Dive. The next four weekends are booked with Friday and Saturday shows, all using the hybrid method that was first implemented in October.
Live music has been a rarity in Gainesville following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a handful of in-person shows — almost all outdoors and distanced — have taken place in the past ten months, but as venues open up again, in-person events are starting to make their way back on a more regular basis.
The current format answers the question that has lingered over live venues since last March – how is it possible to put on a show safely? Venues like High Dive are putting the predicament to rest, at least for now, with a handful of guidelines, including a mandatory mask policy while indoors and distanced seating for in-person guests.
Capacity will be limited to about 30%, with seating arranged in a distanced checkerboard pattern in groups of two, three or four. Single attendees will sit distanced on the bleachers. Temperature checks will be taken at the door with a limit of 99.4 degrees, and those exceeding the maximum temperature will be given credit for a future show, according to High Dive’s website.
Playing a show during a pandemic presented a myriad of unknowns, but the local music community has taken it in stride. Though groups like Driptones were initially hesitant to play live, they said they were impressed by the careful planning by High Dive.
“I was pretty worried about it, but they’re doing really well,” said Tripp Jones, drummer for Driptones.
The group, originally from Cocoa Beach but based in Gainesville, regularly play at High Dive. According to bassist and vocalist Zach Gerbi, this will be the group’s tenth show at the venue, and they had previously performed a hybrid show in November.
Though the venue now houses a much smaller crowd than usual, and guests are to remain seated, guitarist Collin Fitzgerald said the energy from the audience is still palpable.
“It doesn’t feel that much different from a regular live show,” Fitzgerald said.
The circumstances may have changed, but the longstanding partnership between High Dive and local acts like Driptones remains as strong as ever, said guitarist and vocalist Xander Boggs.
“They’ve always been good to us,” he said.
More information about upcoming shows can be found on High Dive’s website.
Contact Heather Bushman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @hgrizzl.