In a country that is still working to get towards normalcy in everyday lives, concerts returning shines a beacon of hope that life could potentially return to the way it once was. “It’s very exciting to see concerts start to come back, it almost feels like things are getting back to the way they were before,” said Lamont Brandon, a VWU senior who attended many concerts before COVID-19 and has attended a few since they’ve started to come back. “I’ve attended a few concerts since COVID-19 regulations have softened a little, concerts are almost the same as they were before except a negative test or vaccination proof was required.”
For the Hampton Roads area particularly that light appears to be shining brighter than anywhere else in the Commonwealth. With a star studded lineup of concerts coming to the area in the next few months, avid concert goers will once again be able to see their favorite artists live. Of course with the inclusion of vaccinations which most artists are requiring at their shows.
There are two specific venues in the Hampton Roads area that are emerging to be hotspots for artist tour stops. The Norva and Chartway Arena are the two venues that have the biggest headliners booked for the upcoming months. The Norva in Downtown Norfolk has a slew of artists booked for the month of September.
Yet, the most notable name out of the bunch is emerging superstar Yung Bleu. Coming off of a solid run of songs in 2021 and still coasting on the prior success of his album “Bleu Vandross 3” in 2020. Yung Bleu made a stop at the Norva on Sept. 10. “Yung Bleu making a stop in the 757 is the highlight of my fall,” said Julius Jacobs, a VWU sophomore who is a big fan of Yung Bleu. The show is a part of his Moonboy tour which has special guest Ann Marie joining the show.
Another major show happening at the Norva later on in October is 100 Gecs. The duo of 100 gecs which consists of Dylan Brady and Laura Les who make a genre of music called hyperpop. They’re currently coming off the success of their remix album “1000 Gecs and the Tree of Life,” which featured artists like Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, Kero Kero Bonito and more. The duo will be at The Norva October 30th on Halloween eve.
The Norva practices COVID-19 safety protocols by requiring all attendees to show evidence of their full vaccination or submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to attending the event. Events encourage all attendees to wear a mask following CDC guidelines.
Chartway Arena at ODU, in the coming months, is set to host international superstar Playboi Carti who will be touring his new album “Narcissist”. The artist always manages to garner a lot of excitement due to his elusive social media presence. “Narcissist” drops Sept. 13 and Playboi Carti will be at the Chartway Arena Dec. 21.
“I remember the day the tour was announced and saw that Norfolk was a stop, I immediately purchased my ticket,” said VWU senior Mike Gatling who’s feeling optimistic about the return to live music. “I feel like concerts returning goes hand and hand with vaccinations rolling out and Playboi Carti coming here just feels like a real gift in spite of the current COVID-19 situation.” Tickets are still available to purchase, but supplies are moving fast due to the sheer popularity of the artist.
The second major artist coming to the Chartway Arena will be Tyler, the Creator. Tyler will be touring his newest album “Call Me If You Get Lost” which was executive produced by legendary Atlanta disc jockey DJ Drama. The album features a star studded list of guests such as Lil Uzi Vert, 757 native Pharrel Williams, 42 Dugg, Lil Wayne, Youngboy NBA and many others. The tour will be Tyler’s first tour since 2019 and his first visit to the 757 to perform ever. The concert is scheduled for March 4, 2021, and tickets are still available to purchase through the event organizer.
The Chartway Arena provides COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for venue guests to understand what to expect when attending an event to make it as safe as possible. Active and increased sanitizing of highly touched surfaces are practiced before, during, and after each event. The venue also undergoes deep cleaning processes between events. Regardless of vaccination status, all guests age 10 and older, will be required to wear a face mask. Venue guests who are feeling sick or experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, or not fully vaccinated who have been in contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days are respectfully asked to not attend an event. If feeling symptoms or tested positive after attending an event at Chartway Arena, self-report COVID-19 exposure at www.odu.edu/covid19.
As the Hampton Roads area is gradually returning to normalcy with concerts and live music events opening back again, individual events may have additional restrictions or requirements as determined by artists or promoters. Future attendees enjoy the experience while staying informed of health and safety guidelines for any events.
By Chistian Jones