‘The Scene’ in NEPA gets ready to rock, again

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the arts and music scenes with unemployement and silence across venues.. but there’s a different kind of rocking ahead.

“People don’t realize, you know us as musicians, we had our lives taken away,” said owner of Karl Hall A.J. Jump. “I you know, it’s, it’s the truth.”

It’s been a rough go for those making a living or a name for themselves under the bright stage lights and in galleries. But time and time again, the ‘scene’ in Northeast Pennsylvania finds a way to thrive.

“See, the music scene and just the art scene in general northeast pa something very special,” noted the front man and named player for ‘Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen.’ “As musicians and artists, it was very, it was a time where we had to think outside the box and I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

Bands, artists and organizations have had to get creative. Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen played a ‘Beatles-inspired’ secret and streamed concert to the Diamond City skyline Friday. Coming up at the end of May, Karl Hall will kick off a concert series a little closer to ground level along Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.

“Obviously we’re seeing, outdoor events which is great,” said Jump. We’re going to be able to gather outdoors a lot this summer. Back inside stuff that still remains to be seen.”

Rich Howell founded and edits an online magazine, NEPA Scene, that covers local culture from dive bars to high school and professional musicals and everything in-between. He says with national acts not able to tour, it may be the opening local artists need to get some attention as things open up.

“Now people are kind of looking for something anything that’s entertaining and they’re willing to maybe give those fans a chance that before they were ignoring or choosing to do something else instead,” he said.

“Just because all they’re local, and they weren’t ever on television, doesn’t mean anything,” added Jump. “And I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with that.”

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