Bijou Sign for Erick Baker

The Bijou Theatre’s wait for live music will go on a bit longer, as Erick Baker’s duo of shows scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Knoxville native and University of Tennessee graduate posted on his Instagram about his decision to cancel the shows.

“Due to the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations in our area … the health of family, friends and fans is more important than performing live right now,” Baker said.

He also expressed sadness at not getting to perform the live shows and gratitude for his fan’s support of his music and family.

“When the time is right, we will dance and sing and laugh and celebrate together again,” Baker said.

He did not state any current plans to reschedule the Knoxville shows. Baker currently has a show scheduled for Sept. 25 in Chattanooga, and did not announce any plans to cancel or reschedule that concert date.

In an effort to contextualize Baker’s decision to cancel the shows, here is a report on the current COVID-19 statistics in Knox County.

According to statistics reported by the Tennessee Department of Health, COVID-19 cases are currently at the highest they have been since Jan. 2021, with a seven day rolling average of 327.4 new COVID-19 cases per day on Aug. 23.

According to statistics reported by the Knox County Health Department, as of Aug. 23, there are 510 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized, with 142 in the ICU. As of Aug. 24, the Knox County Health Department reports that 0.3% of ICU beds (five total) are currently open.

Erick Baker’s performances were the first and second of three shows scheduled for this weekend at the Bijou Theatre.

The Executive Director of the Bijou Theatre, Courtney Bergmeier, spoke about the Bijou’s stance on show cancellations.

“At this time (The Bijou) is not advocating for further cancellations … deferring to the artist’s discretion as to whether or not they would like to proceed with their concert,” Bergmeier said.

Future shows at the Bijou Theatre are subject to change, but the full slate of shows scheduled for September are currently set to go on without delay, albeit with new health and safety protocols instituted in their reopening process.

The Bijou Theatre has instituted many new health and safety protocols for their live shows scheduled for the near future. The performance venue is requiring not only all patrons, but venue staff and show crew to present either a COVID-19 vaccination card or a verified negative COVID-19 test result administered within 72 hours of the event.

According to their website, “masks are highly encouraged but not required for all patrons.” However, masks are required for all staff, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are also required at all times for all children aged 2-11, unless they are actively eating or drinking.

Refunds are being offered for all Erick Baker tickets, and all tickets bought through verified sellers (Ticketmaster and The Bijou Theatre) will be automatically refunded.

Patrons who bought tickets bought with cash at the Bijou Box Office should contact with their full name and phone number to receive a refund.

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