Luckenbach provides pandemic interlude for tourists, regulars

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  • Luckenbach Texas continues to attract tourists and locals alike amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Luckenbach staff maintains social distancing restrictions without limiting the music, food, drinks and community enjoyed by visitors. — Standard-Radio Post/Madalyn Watson
    Luckenbach Texas continues to attract tourists and locals alike amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Luckenbach staff maintains social distancing restrictions without limiting the music, food, drinks and community enjoyed by visitors. — Standard-Radio Post/Madalyn Watson
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By Madalyn Watson

Standard-Radio Post reporter

As Luckenbach Texas attracts people from around the world, the iconic music venue takes safety precautions so it can continue to be a place where “Everybody’s Somebody.”

Open at 10 a.m. every day with an old-fashioned souvenir shop, saloon, dance hall and picnic tables, Luckenbach Texas is a popular getaway destination.

Bar manager Hayden Whittington will reach 13 years working at Luckenbach this February.

“We still get a lot of people from out of town,” Whittington said. “People are tired of being cooped up. We’ve got almost 10 acres right here so we can socially distance.”

Whittington said the variety of visitors coming to Luckenbach has stayed relatively the same in the last year.

“People are just so anxious to get out, so we welcome them here and keep the regulations up,” bartender Linda Baardsath said.

All of Luckenbach’s employees follow all the protocols, including wearing masks and sanitizing tables and bars.

These changes also altered one of Luckenbach’s strongest pulls — live music.

“We’ve had some big shows planned that had to be postponed,” Whittington said.

For outdoor performances, the venue limits the number of tickets sold to make sure everyone is safe. For picker circles, the regular free performances, tables are pushed further apart.

Luckenbach will host its annual Blues Festival from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16. The festival, with headliner Jimmie Vaughan, will be held outside even though it was held in the dance hall in past years.

Since the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, their capacity dropped back to 50% of their norm indoors.

“We’ve had some changes out here but we’ve always tried to maintain the feel of Luckenbach,” Whittington said.

Whittington said he wants Luckenbach to stay open not only to serve their loyal customers, but also to keep everyone on staff employed.

“It’s important to keep things going,” Whittington said.

One of the main goals of Luckenbach, Whittington said, is to make “music, memories and friends.”

“We’re still here to meet and greet and love on people, so we’ll keep doing it as long as we can,” Whittington said.