Live music is returning to downtown Rochester Saturday.
Whether it’s a one-time event, or the first steps to a new normal depends on the people attending the event, said Will Forsman, Cafe Steam co-owner.
Acoustic roots/Americana trio Good Old Wagon will play at 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the outdoor patio of Cafe Steam’s original 315 South Broadway Ave. location.
Good Old Wagon is a mix of band members from Nodding Wild Onions and Volunteer Tomatoes.
Forsman said the musicians suggested the show to him. Having built an outdoor patio, Forsman said he figured he had the space to accommodate the musicians and attendees while allowing people to practice safe distancing. Even the trio of musicians will stay about six feet apart, he added.
“We met and kinda walked through a safety plan and what would work best in this space,” Forsman said.
Other musicians have already approached him about playing after the event was posted to social media, he added. Whether that happens depends on how responsible people will be at the upcoming show.
“We’d love to see this concept be successful, safe, and engaging,” he said. “We know the interest is there with the musicians, we just need to be sure it works.”
One key to making it work is the addition of the patio. It took Forsman days to design, two tons of lumber, five pounds of nails, and two days to construct with help from his father.
He added electricity, plants and shading to make the space on Broadway feel more comfortable.
“Getting it up off the ground makes it feel like the space is more intentional,” he said.
The tall walls make people feel more protected from traffic, he added.
He said he has faith his customers will show it can work.
“We’re fortunate that our demographic is more socially conscious,” Forsman said, adding that he sees the show as a break for people who continue to make sacrifices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a sort of reward for the people who are putting work into this,” he said. “But we can’t put the cart before the horse and open things up before it’s ready.”