Dali Van Gogh Break Ground in Mid-Pandemic Music Scene

Halifax rock band Dali Van Gogh are forging a new path forward with the first sold out, indoor hard rock show in mid-pandemic Halifax.

This weekend, rock band Dali Van Gogh broke new ground in the mid-pandemic music scene in Halifax, NS, with this first sold out, socially distanced, indoor rock event in the city. The max (Covid) capacity crowd poured into the historic Carleton Music Bar on July 24th to witness a special, one night only experiment by the band (and special guests Magnetic North) in transitioning their high-energy rock show into something safe and equally entertaining for a socially distanced, seated audience.

“Rock and metal shows have traditionally featured standing, closely packed audiences,” said Isaac Kent, guitarist and founder of Dali Van Gogh on the event. “Especially in the bar scene, where we have even smaller spaces than an arena or theatre. In the foreseeable future, that concept is out. We've had to come up with a way to move forward, and continue to perform and promote ourselves, while keeping everyone at the shows safe. We don't want to risk anyone's health. The Carleton was willing to take that leap of faith with us that we could make it work.”

A combination of advanced-only ticketed admission, and reserved seating arrangements at the venue allowed the bar to reach it's maximum capacity under the current pandemic restrictions. Bubbles/parties of no more than 10 people were allowed to a table, and each table was spaced at least 6 feet from the next. All food and beverages were served at the table to avoid crowding at the bar, and signage encouraging social distancing was prominent throughout the venue.

“The Carleton is happy to work with artists of all stripes to bring live entertainment back to fans,” said Mike Campbell, Carleton co-owner and well known MuchMusic host. “We congratulate Dali Van Gogh and Magnetic North for helping to encourage people to safely return to that experience.”

“Last night was amazing,” commented attendee Valarie Rafuse on social media. “Magnetic North was great, [Dali Van Gogh] rocked as usual. The staff at the Carleton were incredible. I felt very comfortable with the level of protocol that was followed.”

The boisterous crowd was treated to the same high-octane rock 'n roll show Dali Van Gogh has become known for across the Maritimes, including a sneak peak at the band's forthcoming single, “Boneyard”, which is being produced by Platinum Blonde bassist Rob Laidlaw. Attendees could be seen headbanging along to the band's most popular tunes right from their tables (some standing on chairs), and roaring along to the call and response portion of Dali Van Gogh's hit single “Outside Looking In” as Isaac jumped off the stage with his guitar to get in-between the tables where there was space to do so while still staying socially distant.

The highlight of the night though was a special moment mid set that featured the ballad “Long Way From Heaven” in dedication to healing the world in our post-pandemic future, which saw lighters and cell-phones raised across the venue. A very emotional moment for the band and attendees alike.

“Lisa (Sutherland) and the bar staff did a fantastic job in seating and spacing everyone,” said Rachelle Moreau, Keyboardist for Dali Van Gogh, “even with some last minute changes to the attendee list. They made it work, and we couldn't be more thankful to them.”

“We proved that it can be done,” said Kent in final comment. “Electric music and indoor concerts don't need to be dead because of the pandemic. The question now is who else will have the guts to try...”

Dali Van Gogh is an award winning Hard Rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The band has released 4 records, and has received world wide radio play with charting singles Arms Race (2019), Down At The Hitching Line (2019), East Coast Witches (2019), Outside Looking In (2018), and God Help Me I Like It (2016). For more information on the band, or to reach them for comment, please visit www.dalivangoghmusic.com or email dalivangogh@live.com.

The Carleton are a 7-time Music Nova Scotia Award, and 3-time ECMA winning music venue located at 1685 Argyle Street in Halifax, operated by Mike Campbell and Lisa Sutherland. For more information on the venue, or to reach them for comment, please visit www.thecarleton.ca or email info@thecarleton.ca.

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