A warm summer night in July is usually the perfect time to attend a concert, but concerts are banned this summer because of the public health orders caused by the coronavirus.
Protests, however, are OK, according to the man who organized what he called the Music Matters Protest in Santee Saturday night.
Three to four-dozen people sat on folding chairs in family groups or watched from the comfort and social distance of their cars as a Led Zepplin cover band called “Zeptune” cranked out the iconic band’s hits.
“I can’t find the law I’m actually breaking,” said Dale Curtsinger, who organized the protest. “I cannot find a place where it says you cannot sing and dance.”
Curtsinger is the owner of the San Diego Performance Academy. The performers, several of whom are music teachers, played from the roof of his music school.
“We’re outdoors, we’re safe. The band is on the roof, socially distanced,” said Curtsinger, who called music a positive force. “We need music now more than ever before.”
When asked about the temporary ban on concerts because of the spike in COVID-19 cases, Curtsinger defended his right to rock out.
“I understand you can’t do it in an auditorium, you can’t do it right now in a club or a closed setting. We are outdoors. People are getting rid of a lot of stress right now and enjoying themselves, something they haven’t been able to do for four months.”
Piano teacher Tiffany Garcia wasn’t wearing a mask at the protest, but she put one on when she was interviewed by NBC 7. It was covered in peace signs, which she referenced when asked what she would do if law enforcement broke up the concert.
“If we are asked to leave, we will definitely go home,” she said.
Garcia said she’s not worried about getting the coronavirus because she thinks she already had it. We wanted to know if she was concerned about others’ health during the pandemic.
“I do worry. Actually, I lost a friend from my church who just passed away from the coronavirus, but you know, people are also dying of the flu too, you can’t just stay inside the whole time,” Garcia said.
People who attended the concert protest waved signs that said, “MUSIC MATTERS."
Elizabeth Bauley saw the protest advertised on Facebook and decided to bring her husband and son. Both are musicians.
“We’re here to support musicians and music does matter," she said.
A lone San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped by the protest to see what was going on. According to organizers, she left without telling anyone to stop the music and go home.
Organizers say other bands want to get involved and may be taking the main stage on the roof on Saturday nights in the future.
Curtsinger’s message to musicians: “Pick up your guitars, plug in your amps, and tell them you are not going quietly into the night.”