It was sad, but not shocking, news: On Tuesday, JJ Gonson announced that ONCE Lounge and Ballroom, the 411-capacity Somerville music club she ran for six years, has been permanently closed, yet another COVID-19-related music venue casualty.
“The owner allowed us to do a lot and he’s been pretty lenient in a lot of ways,” said Gonson, the self-described “proprietrix” of the club, which went dark March 13. “I don’t want to paint him as a bad guy. He’s not putting the screws to us. It’s reality. We can’t afford to stay. We can’t pay our essential bills — the rent, electric, telephone.”
This one really hurts because I was there for the first show when it became Once and saw a ton of good bands there on top of a bunch of events my friends held there over the years.
And it is just one of countless closures across the country and world these past few months. What's it going to be like for live music and even the arts as a whole coming out of all of this?