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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

There are Beale Street Blues alright, but not the kind you want to hear or see

With the New Year in sight, Local 24 caught up with a business owner on Beale Street about how hard it has been this year during this pandemic.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Beale Street is feeling a little blue this holiday season thanks to the COVID pandemic. 

This would normally be a busy time on Beale filled with excitement. The big parade before the AutoZone Liberty Bowl game as well as the guitar drop at midnight to ring in the new year will both be missing. Unfortunately, Beale Street is quiet and empty.  

Local 24 News Photojournalist Janice Bridges caught up with a business owner about what’s different this year. 

"South Main Sounds started in 2015 on a cold January night, see if we could have people come in and play original music and we packed the place,” Mark Parsell tells Local 24 News. 

What has this year been like? 

"Stop and go. More stop than go. We've done 8 or 10 live streams as opposed to we would have done 35 to 50 shows by now. It's been really frustrating. Music industry is never going to be quite the same. Right now with the bars closing at 10 o'clock, there's no real reason. You're right around the corner from Ernestine And Hazels and we all know doesn't get started til 10 o'clock. We think about all the musicians that aren't able to play and the money they're not making and a lot of that is our Save Our Stages portion of the COVID relief bill, we'll be able to give some money back to those musicians. Things will break eventually. We're going to have some form of live music and live shows in the spring. We're sitting here on go and we're waiting to see what we're going to be able to pull off in the coming months."