The Canopy Club celebrates reopening with free show featuring Manic Focus


The Daily Illini File Photo

Chris Lake performs at The Canopy Club on Sept. 20, 2019. The Canopy Club celebrates reopening with free show featuring Manic Focus.

By Carolina Garibay, buzz editor

After having to close their doors in March 2020 because of COVID-19, The Canopy Club is opening back up for live shows this fall, starting off with their opening party happening Saturday, and Ian Strasser, director of marketing for The Canopy Club, says he’s elated for the reopening this weekend.

“It feels amazing knowing that we will finally be bringing live music back to the community,” Strasser said.

He said having to close in March of 2020 meant the freshmen and sophomores at the University of Illinois weren’t able to go to shows. The Canopy Club’s reopening gives a lot of students the chance to experience shows when they weren’t able to in 2020, he said.

Everybody struggled in different ways during the pandemic, and there were some mixed reactions when finding out people wouldn’t be able to attend in-person events and gatherings anymore. For Strasser, those mixed emotions were very real.

“At first it didn’t feel real seeing other events getting canceled and hearing these recommendations about lockdowns, but everything ended up happening so fast,” Strasser said. “I didn’t know what my job was going to look like, but I knew that we were going to postpone or cancel all of our shows.”

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But Strasser said once he saw official sports games being canceled, he knew the University would soon follow with a lockdown. Like many other people, Strasser said he and The Canopy Club team tried to stay optimistic but had no idea that the next time they’d be able to have a live show would be Aug. 28.

But now, Strasser gets to once again welcome people into The Canopy Club and start having live shows again, starting with the welcome back party taking place Saturday. The event will feature a few local DJs as openers before Manic Focus, electronic band and main event of Saturday takes the stage.

He also said The Canopy Club will be requiring that all guests provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of attending the show, starting with the main opener, Manic Focus.

Strasser said he’s looking forward to the event and that’s it’s going to be a great way to bring together the community after what has been a long and hard year and a half.

“It’s been so long since we’ve opened our doors that we knew something special had to happen when we finally brought live music back to town,” he said.

Strasser said he has high hopes for the rest of the semester, too and said that he thinks concertgoers will share similar sentiments to The Canopy Club staff about being excited to see live music again.

“There’s nothing quite like watching your favorite artist perform while being surrounded by people who bring the same energy as you,” he said. “It’s a fascinating feeling that never gets old, no matter how many shows you have been to.”

Strasser said The Canopy Club currently has 22 shows announced. He also said they’ll be requiring all attendees to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event they’re attending. Masks will also be required until further notice.

“We’re ready to welcome all of these new people to The Canopy Club family and start rebuilding the community and boosting our local music scene again,” Strasser said.

The Canopy Club reopening event will take place Saturday at The Canopy Club at 8 p.m., with the main event starting at 9 p.m. The event is free, but RSVPs are required and can be found on The Canopy Club website.

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