Live shows finally returning to First Avenue after more than a year

First Avenue in Minneapolis is reopening for shows for the first time in more than 475 days after closing because of the pandemic.

The historic music venue is ready to welcome back fans for shows with back-to-back performances from The Suburbs on Friday and Saturday.

"I’m actually getting a little emotional thinking about reopening tonight. It’s really exciting," said Ashley Ryan, VP of Marketing at First Avenue.

Ryan said enduring the pandemic has been a trying experience.

"Really looking back at the past year, it’s been rescheduling shows and canceling shows and being really, really uncertain about our future doing everything we could to fight to stay here," Ryan said.

An empty stage is something venues all across the world experienced.

"It is so unprecedented. Nobody has savings to get through 18 months of being closed," Ryan said. "We had most of our staff let go or furloughed or on leave because we have no events."

While they waited for live shows to resume, First Avenue found ways to stay busy and that included hosting a vaccine clinic.

"It was great, we got to reach out to artists and musicians and industry folks and let them know hey if you’ve had trouble, and this is at the point when it was really hard to get an appointment," Ryan said.

Now more bands are ready to secure their date as they hit the spotlight once again.

"When I look at the calendar right now I see a lot of shows, that’s going to sell out, that’s going to sell out, that’s going to sell out because people are so excited, they want to come back, they want to support, people want to have a good time right now," Ryan said.

It’s the community that staff at First Avenue say is the reason this historic venue is here to stay.

"We just want to kind of shout out our community and say thanks we’re really happy to be here," Ryan said.

Show information is available on First Avenue’s website.