Community Crossroads: How a live music venue stayed alive amid the COVID-19 pandemic

VICTORIA, Texas – Christine Krause, co-owner of the second-oldest dance hall in Texas, joined us on Community Crossroads to talk about how she worked to keep the business going amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The following is a transcript:

Carolina Astrain: Welcome back Crossroads. And now we’re joined by Christine Krause, co-owner of the second-oldest dance hall in Texas. Christine. Welcome to the show.

Krause: Hi, good morning. Thanks for having me.

Astrain: Wow. What a year it’s been for music venues all over the country.

Krause: Yes, definitely. It’s been, it’s been tough for us and for everybody else. And thankfully, we’re seeing a little bit more normal now, which is a light, hopefully at the end of the tunnel.

Astrain: Talk to us about how you were able to survive this past year. And I know you actually went to the front lines of, you know, the protesting when they shut down the venue.

Krause: We did, we went to Austin. I think it was last July, right after that second shut down and, and we did a stand at the Capitol and protests just because of the fact that we didn’t understand why, uh, live music venues and bars bar specifically was being singled out when there were a lot of other kinds of businesses that were still able to be open. For example, water parks were still able to be opened at that time, but bars and live music venues could not. And so we felt that it was necessary to do that and we were close until the beginning of September. And then we did reopen and thankfully we’ve been opened since then. So we’re, we’re, we’re chugging along and things are picking up steadily.

Astrain: I know the last concert that I went to was Midland at Schroeder, and that was so lovely. Y’all have done such great work, bringing it back to life, and have there been more additional improvements made.

Krause: We spent a lot of the time that we were closed last summer, making some much needed, um, renovations, not huge ones, but we did some fixes on the roof and the structure of the roof, which was during our closer in the summer. Um, we did some changes to the reentry or the entryway and the ramps. Um, so that there’s a ramp going up and down, uh, for handicapped people. We’ve also worked, had them working extensively on electrical wiring being in that it’s 130-year -old venue. There’s always something that has to be repaired or fixed. We did upgrades to our kitchen. So during this time, we’ve been working steadily, um, to make improvements so that it’s more comfortable in there so that everyone has a wonderful experience whenever they come in. That’s our goal.

Astrain: And when you were at the Capitol, you know, protesting to demand answers, did you ever imagine that some piece of legislation would come out of it?

Krause: No, I didn’t. At the time.

Astrain: Can you share with us a little bit about it?

Krause: Legislators have worked toward helping the live music venues by giving, I guess funds back basically is what that piece of legislative, how I don’t even know the words, what it’s called, but and that just happened less than about a month ago or so that they pass that through. And so there’s still some word on how that money is going to be funded. Um, but we’re excited that they’re at least on our side and that they’re working for us. And then there’s the national, uh, grant also that we’re working towards.

Astrain: Can we learn about all the events coming up at Schroeder?

Krause: SchroederHall.com is our website. You can look under events. We have a lot of great events coming up this weekend. We have our freedom celebration with Randall King. We have fireworks on Saturday night, there’ll be a professional show. We’ve got Reckless Kelly coming. We’ve got tons and tons of bands that are great country music acts, and other things like Tatiana. We have Steve Trevino coming for comedy. And then we also really want to encourage everyone to vote for us. On the Texas Country Music Association website, as we were nominated as one of the best live music venues of the year.

Astrain: Well, I’ll be sure to post all those links to our, to the, to the web version of this segment, please vote

Krause: For us, that’s a big, big deal for us that we were able to be nominated after last year and everything with the changes and everything will do.

Astrain: Thank you so much, Christine. Here’s a look at what we’re working on for you next week. We’ll hear from Meridith Byrd, RJ Shelley, and Christie Youker, and we’ll discuss the Victoria Farmers’ Market, the summer harvest, and some safety tips for when you’re out on the water. We’ll also learn more about the organization, Keep Victoria Beautiful. Thank you for joining us for Community Crossroads and thank you to our guests, Dr. John McNeill, Emily Weatherly, Dr. Quentin Shepherd, Joel Novosad, and Christine Krause. And to learn more about today’s guests and their stories come to CrossroadsToday.com. If you have a story idea, email me castrain@victoriatelevision.com and you can also catch CommunityCrossroads at CrossroadsToday.com have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week.