The Underground Music Showcase returned to South Broadway this weekend, bringing with it thousands of vaccinated music lovers. For many, it felt like the return of live music. Some of the artists who performed noted it was their first time playing in front of people in over a year.
Broadway was sunny and full of life all weekend, with visitors wandering between venues and stopping for food, drinks and merch at local business between sets.
Two Parts founder Casey Barry said that demand for tickets far outweighed demand for refunds after UMS announced all guests must be vaccinated or present a recent negative COVID year to attend. MacKenzie Bearley an Englewood resident who’s attended UMS a couple times in years past, said the crowds were a bit smaller than previous years.
“The vibe is pretty similar. It just feels a little more low-key. It’s not as messy as years before,” Bearley said. She said it felt good to be back seeing live music, and that she’s glad UMS implemented the vaccine requirement. “It’s been nice to be around people. It feels safe.”
People trickled in each day starting around early afternoon, and mainstage was packed by the time headliners played at 9 each night. And while the event was crowded, most guests refrained from pushing to the front, so the crowds were generally pretty comfortably spaced out.
Here’s what photographer Eli Imadali saw when he went out Friday and Sunday.