The provincial government in Quebec City has given the green light for the reopening of dance floors and karaoke.b
On November 15, put on your best shoes and do your vocalizations: Quebec gave the green light, Tuesday, to the reopening of dance floors and karaoke. After months of demands, the nightlife industry is breathing a sigh of relief. “It’s about time it happened,” says Nic Urli, who helped open the speakeasy Club Velvet and the nightclub Flyjin.
In recent weeks, the night owl claimed the right to dance – banned by decree since June 2020 – for the survival of his industry. He even told La Presse at the end of October that he was thinking of civil disobedience “if the dance floors did not reopen.
The ban on dancing will be lifted on November 15, with the obligation to wear a mask, announced the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, on Tuesday, in a series of sanitary reliefs. It will also be permitted to participate in karaoke activities, subject to certain health guidelines. In theaters, the public will be able to stand without being assigned a seat, a relaxation that mainly affects independent venues.
We were among the last major cities in the world to ban dancing. I think we were right to protest and demand change. [I’m proud] of our industry. Now we have to get back on track!
Tommy Piscardeli, owner of Stereo, a Montreal nightclub, is also positive about the announcement, although he has some reservations.
“It’s a step forward. On the mask side, it will be a little hard to control large crowds. You look at the Bell Centre, for example, and not all people wear masks. We’re going to do our best, but it’s going to be very hard to control,” he says.
“The other battle he’ll have to fight is to bring back his clientele, who in recent months have taken refuge in underground venues to quench their thirst for dance.
“People have so much freedom in these events. No masks, no vaccine passports. I hope we’re going to be able to bring our clientele back and that they agree to abide by the rules,” he fears.
According to Anthony D’Urbano, electro concert promoter and FrontRite community manager, the November 15 date had been circulating for several weeks.
We caught up with him in Toronto, where he went to take the pulse of the scene during Halloween. “The clubs are full and people are dancing,” he observes, happy to know that Montreal will follow suit.
It’s impossible to be disappointed with this news,” says DJ CRi. Nothing has happened for two years. Quebec will no longer be the exception to the rule.
During the dithering of Public Health, an underground scene has grown in Montreal through social networks. Anthony D’Urbano found it heartbreaking at times to see legal promoters kept out of the picture.