It was the sold-out concert where most of the seats were empty: Welcome to live music in the age of COVID-19.
On Friday, August 7, 80 eager patrons enjoyed the first concert at the Blue Mountains Theatre since the pandemic forced the closure of the Springwood venue in March.
While social distancing requirements meant most of the theatre's 410 seats were empty, this only added to the evening's atmosphere, according to musician Gary Daley.
"There were only 80 people in the audience but in terms of enthusiasm on the night it felt like the place was actually full," he said.
"The audience was absolutely amazing. A lot of things came together to make a really fantastic night."
Daley was joined by acclaimed musicians Lloyd Swanton (The Necks) and Nic Cecire, along with guest vocalist Emma Pask, one of the Australia's premier jazz vocalists.
Springwood resident Robyn Gordon was one of the lucky audience members, describing the atmosphere "as like an opening night".
"The audience was totally engrossed in the concert. You completely forgot that the place wasn't packed," she said.
Ms Gordon said it was "just wonderful to be there to be able to support the musicians".
"Their joy in performing in front of an audience was palpable because they haven't had an opportunity to do that throughout this COVID period," she said.
The Love Local Live On Stage at Blue Mountains Theatre series continues on Friday nights until August 28. For more details visit: bluemountainstheatreandhub.com.au.