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Toledo music scene feels strain of pandemic; artists get creative to keep gigs safe

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it significantly harder for local musicians to find gigs.

TOLEDO, Ohio — COVID-19 continues to have an impact on restaurants and live entertainment, putting a strain on musicians in northwest Ohio.

Scott Biddle, with local '90s band "The Skittle Bots," said the year has been a washout. They had several big events planned for 2020 after a great 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled almost all large events, including the ones they had scheduled.

The group has done some live streaming and virtual events and Biddle said they chose just a few in-person gigs they felt were safe for both them and the public, which continues to be the biggest challenge.

"That relationship between business owners, bar owners and musicians... trying to figure out, 'Is there still a way to safely do what we do,' and some people have gotten creative in, like, building patios that were not there before," Biddle said.

He said the music scene here in Toledo is strong. Local groups support one another, and he's excited to see how that will continue once the pandemic is over and bands can help fill places with music once again.

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