• May 26, 2020

Cactus House finds alternative - Odessa American: Local News

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Cactus House finds alternative

Live concert stream is scheduled on Saturday

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  • Listen to the Music

    A microphone sits on a soundboard just left of the stage at Cactus House that usually is home to a live band and a crowd to see live music. Now that people are staying home to limit potential exposure to COVID-19, the owners of Cactus House are planning to stream live music online.

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 4:39 pm

Cactus House relied on regularly scheduled live performances to pay the rent.

However, since the coronavirus pandemic went into full effect on the east and west coasts of the United States, Odessa’s live music venue hasn’t hosted a show in nearly a month.

The last performance at Cactus House before bands started dropping tour dates was Fuming Mouth — a metal band from Boston — on March 12.

“A lot of things started to close on the western and eastern end of the country,” Cactus House co-owner Daniel Price said. “As those dropped off, it started to domino inward and as shows dropped off people in bands couldn’t afford to migrate that far into the country. They were just turning around and going home.”

On Saturday afternoon, co-owners of Cactus House — Brian Herrera, Gus Pando, Andy Russell and Price — talked about what the live music venue has been doing during the coronavirus.

Pando said this is an opportunity to do some cleaning and renovations. Cactus House has also been working on merchandise to sell on its website.

“We’ve been reorganizing and resituating things within the venue,” Pando said. “We are doing things that we didn’t have time to do before. It’s hard to clean and keep things organized when there’s a different event every night.”

Herrera explained since people can’t come to Cactus House that the owners would bring their live music venue to people’s houses with area bands through a live stream.

The live stream would take place on YouTube. Herrera said Cactus House will test that capability this week when Ghidorah plays at 8 p.m. Saturday. Herrera also said people can donate to Cactus House, which along with live music also displays work from artists in the area.

Herrera said he believes what the Cactus House learns from the coronavirus can have a lasting effect on how he and the rest of the owners view live music experiences.

“We’ve kind of thrown that idea around in the past from the beginning,” Herrera said of live streaming concerts. “Now with this happening, it’s definitely pushed that to the forefront. It’s not just a thought that we should do it. We kind of have to do it this now.”

Russell said it’s not only a big hit financially, but it’s strange not hosting concerts every week.

Cactus House had scheduled spring and summer concerts months in advance. Bands are also tentatively scheduled for the early fall, but the owners all know that can quickly change.

“It has been devastating to a lot of music venues, not just ours but everywhere in the nation,” Russell said. “We all knew it was coming. The writing was on the wall, because we saw when people were canceling everything.

“It’s a weird lifestyle change. We are kind of getting adjusted to it all.”

The Cactus House owners have differing opinions about how people are going to deal with life after the coronavirus.

Pando said he believes people will be hesitant to gather in large crowds, because right now the entire country is attempting to practice social distancing being six feet apart.

“Even when things do get back to a point where we could have people in here, I think it’s still going to be a long-term effect where people might not want to be in large crowds,” Pando said. “It’s perfectly understandable and reasonable. It’s going to be a long-term thing for us.”

Price hopes the post-coronavirus effect will be one where people come together to celebrate.

Price explained: “I’m hoping people come out of this thinking ‘I really care about my community. I never realized how nice it is just to go to a movie; how nice it is to go to a restaurant with my family. I can’t believe we have all these cool places to go. We have venues like Cactus House to go to. We have parks to go to.’ I feel like people are going to have that response initially. I don’t know how long it will last, but I hope it lasts. I hope people come out of this with a positive change.”

Odessa, TX

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