Live music returns to First Avenue over year after closing due to pandemic

The historic First Avenue venue in Minneapolis is reopening more than a year after closing due to the pandemic. (FOX 9)

Live music is returning to Minneapolis’ historic First Avenue more than a year after it closed its doors due to the pandemic.

Now, everyone from the musicians to the fans to the bar owners are ready for the return.

"It’s been 477 days," said Ashley Ryan, the vice president of marketing at First Avenue. "It was March 12 of 2020 when we had our last concert."

First Avenue and its 7th Street Entry is where The Suburbs play Friday and Saturday to sold-out shows. Earlier in the day, crew members for the band buzzed with excitement as they loaded in the equipment.

The historic venue came precariously close, Ryan says, to never getting to this day.

"Because there was a real, a very real fear that this was going to close," said Ryan. "That it wasn’t going to - we weren’t going to make it to the other side."

But here they are after 16 months, surviving and getting reacquainted with normalcy.

"But we also wanted to scale up," said Ryan. "We own and operate a number of venues, so we’re starting with the Entry this week, the Turf Club next week, the Main Room the following week and the Fine Line the week after that. So we’re just kind of letting our team shake the dust off in every room."

As the venues return, staff find themselves feeling a sense of relief.

"We just had faith," said Ryan. "We knew that we had to be here."