The show must go on: Preservation Hall begins live concerts Thursday


After a 15-month break, the stage will once again be lit.

NEW ORLEANS — After a 15-month hiatus, Preservation Hall is reopening. It marks a fresh start and a fresh start for an unpredictable time. Eyewitness News spoke with Joe Lastie, a drummer, who said the band is ready for a comeback.

For years, this historic neighborhood scene has been part of the sound of New Orleans. But then COVID-19 hit.

“I used to say it was the night the lights went out for music and Preservation Hall,” Joe Lastie said. “It was sad because I knew deep down that the music was going to be on hold for a while.”

It’s been strangely quiet ever since. The windows were closed, the doors locked and the instruments, which filled the air with heart and soul, fell silent.

“It was sad,” Lastie said. “It’s our life, and we play for the tourists and our fans.”

Lastie has stayed busy, playing from home and virtually to try and keep up the pace.

“I always say it’s a spiritual thing for me, to play music,” he said. “Because when I play, if you don’t feel my play, you don’t listen.”

However, now, after 15 months of playing every day by ear, the stage will be lit again.

“Oh yeah, we’re coming back!” he said with a small laugh. “We are coming back better than before the pandemic.”

The room may be empty right now, but you can still feel the excitement. And when the doors open this Thursday for the 60th anniversary, the band will be there in front of a crowd ready to put on a show.

“What am I looking forward to the most? Playing with my fellow musicians and entertaining because they’ve suffered like us,” Lastie said.

And with 48 hours until showtime, Lastie says it will be a performance like no other, which will surely strike a chord with everyone.

Doors will open for live shows, Thursday, June 10, 2021. Due to current COVID-19 protocols, the venue will have limited capacity for all ages and performances will take place Thursday-Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All ticketing transactions will be by credit card, as cash will not be accepted at the door. Reservations are strongly encouraged at

Due to the intimate nature of the Preservation Hall, attendees are required to wear masks and temperature checks will also be conducted. Masks will be provided to customers who arrive in the room without one of their own. Horn players will also use bell covers to ensure complete safety. Ticket reservations are currently available at Guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to show time to allow time to exit the show.

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