By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Arts and Venues announced it will be closing all venues, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, due to coronavirus-related budget concerns. Part-time and full-time employees will also be furloughed. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats performs onstage during Day 1 of "Red Rocks Unpaused" 3-Day Music Festival presented by Visible at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sept. 1, 2020 in Morrison, Colorado.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats performs onstage Tuesday during Day 1 of “Red Rocks Unpaused” 3-Day Music Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Visible)

Denver Arts and Venues says they cut 46% of expenses, but even that wasn’t enough to keep operations running. Changes will go into effect at the end of September and last through the beginning of 2021. 

“Denver is blessed with some of the most fantastic venues in the world,” said Don Strasburg, co-President of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains. “Every single one of them were the first to close and will be the last to reopen.”

Strasburg works closely with Denver Arts and Venues on some of their biggest shows. He says the news isn’t surprising. 

“You don’t always realize when you go to a show, how many people it takes to put that event on, and that’s just the people who might be at the venue that day, not even counting all the people who work in the office,” he told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “There’s so much work that goes into these businesses, and every single one of these people are more or less sidelined until we come up with a solution.”

Jill Andrews performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on July 1, 2018 in Morrison, Colorado.

Jill Andrews performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

He says the announced of Denver Arts and Venues’ closures and furloughs speaks to how bad the problem is across the industry. 

“There’s a really deep concern about how many people are going to have to leave and never come back, and how many venues wont reopen again,” Strasburg said. “What’s going to happen? We don’t know the answer to that.”

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Strasburg says many musicians and artists are struggling during the pandemic. If you’d like to donate to relief for musicians go to comusicrelief.org.

Andrea Flores

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