Hold Close-min
[Photo via Spotify]

Over the weekend, Hold Close took part in a live performance at the Odyssey Lounge in Springfield, Missouri. Although masks were reportedly mandatory and temperatures were taken before entry, the event soon earned backlash amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Hold Close have released a statement regarding their decision to take part in the Wreck The Hall 2 event. As well, they have announced an indefinite break.

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On Dec. 5, Hold Close, Lo., Flashing Lights and Envious View took part in the Odyssey Lounge’s Wreck The Hall 2 concert. The venue sold a limited amount of tickets and allegedly enforced social distancing during the event.

 

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However, news of the concert soon spread and a lot of people weren’t happy. As the United States continues to set new record highs of coronavirus infections and deaths each day, many people believe having the event during the pandemic was the wrong call.

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Photos and videos from the performance allegedly show that the venue did not enforce social distancing. As well, many of those in the audience did not wear protective face masks despite promises that both would be enforced.

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Following the backlash, Hold Close released a lengthy statement on Dec. 6. In the statement, they explain why they decided to take part in the event and apologize for their “selfish desire to play a show.”

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“First, we would like to apologize as a band for playing a show during a pandemic,” Hold Close say. “With COVID cases continuing to rise, we should have not put our own selfish desire to play a show before the health and safety of others. We will not be participating in any events in the future where others will be at risk. [We] had a mutual desire to assist our local venue in keeping afloat during such a trying time. We allowed that to cloud our judgment and we are incredibly sorry.”

Hold Close go on to say that their goal as a band is to “always create a safe and open space” for their fans. Along with apologizing to their fanbase who have supported them for years, Hold Close say that they are taking a break.

“For those who came to last night’s show, we are sorry for being the ones who put you at risk,” they continue. “We highly encourage you all to get tested, socially distance and if possible, quarantine. We will also be doing the same. As a band, we are going to be stepping back and taking a break for a while. We would like to reflect on our actions and thoughts that led us to play a show during such a serious time. We are committed to righting these actions.”

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Since the release of their statement, Hold Close have received mixed reactions. While some believe they shouldn’t have to apologize, others think they should’ve held a livestream concert like so many other artists have done throughout 2020.

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Now, this isn’t the first time large gatherings have come together for live music amid the coronavirus pandemic. This summer, Smash Mouth and Trapt were among the artists who performed at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Photos and videos from the event showed that social distancing and mask-wearing were not enforced. Health officials now say that the motorcycle rally is linked to over 260,000 COVID-19 cases in the Midwestern United States.

Plenty of artists have found other ways to safely bring live music to fans this year. Dance Gavin Dance, Billie Eilish, the Maine, All Time Low, Black Veil Brides and Underoath are just a few of the artists who have held livestreamed concerts in 2020.

Other acts have also utilized drive-ins this year. Over the summer, Andrew McMahon celebrated the Everything In Transit anniversary with various drive-in performances. The Beach Boys and Sublime With Rome are a few of the other musicians to also give this format of live music a try in 2020.

What are your reactions to Hold Close having a concert during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you think about their apology? Let us know in the comments below.