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A community favorite has returned for 2021 after being canceled due to COVID-19 last year. Salida’s Next Last Waltz (SNLW) is back for its fourth year starting Nov. 24. The event was born around a kitchen table among friends. This year there will be three shows with an emphasis on COVID-19 safety.

Those hoping to attend need to plan for next year: all three nights of the event sold out within two hours of ticket sales going live.

Lindsay Sutton, one of the producers of the event explained “This is a musical reproduction of the Martin Scorsese film of The Band’s Last Concert which took place at Winter Land Ballroom in 1976. Normally we have around 32 to 36 local musicians who all play different parts within it. It’s a pretty magical event having that many musicians come together in a community like ours because we do have so much talent. It’s pretty beautiful to watch them all work together, and I’ve always said this, and it remains true to this day, without absolutely any ego or competition. We all come together as such a beautiful family and that’s one of my favorite parts about this event.”

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“Every year we’ve added a show. We started out in 2017 with one show the night before Thanksgiving. The whole thing was the baby of George Mossman, he had been planning this for many years. The original Last Waltz plays on a loop so as a friend group we’ve been talking about it for years and it just kind of all came together at my kitchen table. We just threw it out there to see if it would work and here, we are all these years later,” she said.

George A Mossman, Bones Davis and Lindsey Sutton produce the event together. “It was truly the baby of a group of friends that came together, and all the musicians just got right on board so we’re pretty lucky on that.”

Proof of vaccinations to enter the event is required and masks must be worn within this year’s shows. These protocols are not designed to polarize, politicize or judge individual choices. They want to put on an incredible event that is safe for the SNLW family and the community. Right now, the SteamPlant is at 75 percent capacity, which means there were less tickets this year.

Sutton explained “We were the first event like this in Chaffee County to outline vaccine-only and we want actual proof of medical exemption from the hospital or a primary physician. If you are medically exempt, we need a negative test within 48 hours.”

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“We can’t put our cast at risk, and we don’t want to put the audience at risk as well so I get at this point its everyone’s choice of what they’re doing but we want to put every precaution in play just to ensure the safety of our community and us,” added Sutton.

Kat McQuillan from Tenderfoot Health Collective has been a sponsor of the event since the beginning.

“She is the sole and title sponsor of this event this year.  She is locally owned, and she supports so much local music it is just nuts,” said Sutton. “She steps up for everything and has believed in us since the beginning. She is the only locally owned and operated marijuana dispensary in Salida. Her whole thing, and ours too, is staying local and paying musicians. That’s one of Salida’s Next Last Waltz’s biggest missions. We are a nonprofit and our whole goal is to keep local musicians working.”