SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — COVID-19 has taken its toll on businesses across the country, and KELOLAND is no exception. The White Wall Sessions, showcasing a variety of musical acts, was preparing for its eighth season when the pandemic started, but is now suspending operations indefinitely.
It’s not the day the music died, but owner Jeff Zueger is pulling the plug on The White Wall Sessions.
“It’s been a passion project since the beginning and it’s been a very difficult decision to make,” White Wall Sessions owner Jeff Zueger said.
Zueger calls the decision to suspend operations a matter of safety.
“Obviously, with the pandemic still not under control we didn’t feel it was safe for our crew or our musicians, our fans or anybody to continue to try and work,” Zueger said.
The series is currently four months behind schedule, and over half the sessions for the upcoming season have been canceled due to COVID-19.
“Normally we would start our new broadcasting in September. It’s obvious we’re not going to be able to make that deadline,” Zueger said.
A grassroots project, Zueger says The White Wall Sessions has been a financial struggle since day one.
“When we started this project, it was never really about making money. Obviously, it does take money to keep it going. If we have to put this off for a year, it will be very difficult, financially, to keep it going,” Zueger said.
The studio where The White Wall Sessions is recorded accommodates up to 75 people, always including Steve Knutson, who says it’s a big part of the music scene here in Sioux Falls.
“It gave, as a music fan, speaking for myself, another venue to see live music. Local artists, regional artists that you may not have ever heard of before and kind of opens up a whole new avenue for the music fan to hear new music,” music fan Steve Knutson said.
“We got a lot of love yesterday on Facebook, which is always nice to know that people actually do care about something that you’re putting out there for them,” Zueger said.
The White Wall Sessions currently airs Saturday nights at 10:30 on KELO-TV. Zueger says the White Wall radio show will be suspended after the current run finishes in August.