It was supposed to be one of the best summer concert seasons ever...until it wasn't.

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When I think Summer of SoJO, I think CONCERTS! And, not just the shows themselves, but the concert venues, and the audiences. It wasn't supposed to be like this, because no one saw the COVID-19 pandemic coming or lasting so long. So, as summer nights go by, so do dates of shows I would have been attending. And, I just have to let my sadness out somewhere.

Dear Local Concert Venues,

I miss you. As I write this letter, I look at a stack of tickets for concerts that I won't get to see this summer. And, I can't help but wonder what could've been. I also glance at all the dates that I'd blocked off on my calendar, nights and experiences I would have shared with SoJO 104.9 fans and friends.

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Wells Fargo Center in June, singing along to Harry Styles new album among a sold out crowd. I was even looking ahead to September at WFC and seeing Camila Cabello on her biggest solo tour yet. I'm already missing the drives over the bridge into South Philly, waiting behind a long line of cars to get into the parking lots as the sun goes down and the early evening summer humidity sets into my skin JUST before I plop down in my air conditioned seat.

I practically live and BB&T Pavilion along Camden Waterfront during summer, and this year would have been no different. Alanis' 25th Anniversary 'Jagged Little Pill Tour', reliving all that angst, Backstreet Boys 'DNA Tour' dancing and singing in the aisles with my friend Ashley and my mom, Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows. Heck, I'd have even come to NICKELBACK! And, then there would have been September 3rd and my reunion with Maroon 5. My heart sinks just thinking about it. 

At BB&T, you'd have found me sitting in the Pavilion's courtyard chatting up friends, SoJO listeners, and radio colleagues over a cold beer and a slice of pizza. Or sitting on the lawn packed with people, the Philly skyline on the horizon, or my sweaty legs sticking to my seat. Yeah, I even miss that.

And, then there's The Mann Center. I wasn't due to make many trips up the Schuykill to get to you, but I was looking forward to hearing the Goo Goo Dolls bouncing off The Mann's cedar-plank acoustic roof this August. It's a hike to get there, but I'll find any excuse to visit The Mann because its sound is unparalleled. 

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I'll miss waiting in line on South Street in Philly to get into the TLA, and hitting up Barcade before a night at The Fillmore. Taking a long drive up the Garden State Parkway to check out a concert at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, another of my favorite outdoor venues. And, casino venues in Atlantic City, like Ovation Hall inside Ocean Casino, and the Etess Arena at Hard Rock.

OMG! And, I forgot about Citizens Bank Park and the 'Hella Mega Tour'! I was sooooo excited for that Weezer/Fall Out Boy/Green Day triple bill. And, rocking it up to Poison/Def Leppard/Motley Crue at Lincoln Financial. I was kind of saving all my wild energy for that throwback, lol.

And, while all of what I've written above is about how I'M feeling about the absence of live concerts this summer, my heart breaks for your employees who work at these venues, all of the concert industry folks (and promoter friends) who'd been hoping to get at least some of these shows in, and all of the fans who will have to wait out the pandemic to see shows they had tickets for at a later date. 

So many people are out of work, and I'm happy to remain healthy. But I really, REALLY miss summer concerts. I will be hanging onto my tickets for the Summer of SoJO 2021 when this letter I'm writing is hopefully a distant memory. WE WILL BE BACK to support you and revel in you when the time is right.

Sincerely,

Heather DeLuca, SoJO 104.9

What is your favorite summer concert venue? What concert were you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comment box below.

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