SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) -- The Belly Up in Solana Beach is known for rocking live music. Take one look at the decorated walls inside the club, and you can tell it's a who's who of artists who have graced the stage, but for the last 15 months, that stage has been quiet.
"It's been a very long 15 months," says Chris Goldsmith, president of entertainment at Belly Up. "We've had to reschedule shows several times. Everybody wants to get back out on the road."
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, Goldsmith says he initially thought the shutdown would be brief.
"We knew it was serious, and I tried to project when we might open. I was thinking two months maybe with a chance to reopen in May, or maybe reopen in the summer. I was 100 percent right, I just had the wrong year," says Goldsmith.
From Steve Earle to General Public to Colin Hay, the Belly Up has been rocking since its opening in 1974. So this week is a monumental one, for the first time since March 2020, the sound of music will once again fill the club.
"It's been a slow process, but it's really an exciting moment. We are really going to see the return of live music. Our gut feeling was that ticket sales would be really strong out of the gate, and it has, as people are excited," Goldsmith says.
The calendar is full of all types of musical acts, but the patrons will find few COVID-related changes. Patrons and employees must comply with current regulations. Masks are optional for those who are vaccinated. Also, the club will be operating a little less than full capacity.
"In the first six weeks that we are open, we decided that we're only going to sell to 80 percent capacity, even though we're not restricted from doing that. We just wanted to give everybody, the staff, a little bit of space just to get used to getting back," says Goldsmith.