Johnny Blancher, one of the owners of Rock ‘n Bowl in Lafayette and New Orleans, says not only is the COVID Pandemic destroying his businesses, it’s also eroding the state’s rich music culture.

“We’ve had part of our business just stripped away from us there with live music and it’s a very integral part. It's, of course, the greatest piece of our culture here in Louisiana,” said Blancher, referencing that under current coronavirus restrictions, live music is not allowed indoors.

Blancher said his venue is prepared to bring live music back and he has a safe and proven way to do so. But, his efforts to meet with the Governor’s office about it have hit a sour note.

“When it’s time for us to bring live music back we have a way to do this safely. We’re ready to present it. We have measures that we can take to do things safely and we’re just being denied all access,” said Blancher.

Blancher said the method he wants to use to assist with the pandemic is currently being used on airlines and he’s tried to present the technology to state officials in an effort to help live music return safely.

“It has a process called needlepoint bipolar ionization. It is a system that was actually tested in labs against COVID-19, not just coronavirus. It has been proven to kill COVID-19,” said Blancher.

He also believes COVID restrictions are also causing the state to lose talented musicians that have left to find work. Blancher fears they will not return the longer we wait to bring back live music in Louisiana.

(Story written by Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network)

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