People gather for live music in Downtown San Jose to end milestone week

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In a shaded corner of Downtown San Jose, along South 1st Street, people were met with live music, lots of uncovered smiles and what some are calling "the long-awaited return to normality."

"It's like the week when you can have the restraints come off without feeling guilty," resident Michael Maker told ABC7 News. "Or without feeling like you're doing something wrong."

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During the interview and in the distance, singer Casey Wickstrom finally took the stage in front of people- a live audience.

"It's very liberating to have made it past the chaos of COVID," Wickstrom said.

On Friday, SoFA Music Festival and the San Jose Downtown Association hosted an event with the message, "No More Tiers."

The spelling made light of California's move away from its restrictive colored-tier system and essentially out of lockdown.

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While Wickstrom may have been enough to get people outdoors, there was still plenty of caution.

"When June 15 was coming around, honestly I was not excited," Angelina Dew-Upton said. "Because the rest of the world is still suffering. COVID's still out there. We still have the variants."

She added, "I just hope that everybody is patient and kind, and that everybody goes back at their own pace."

Another resident who asked to be identified only as "CJ" told ABC7 News, "We need something to bring us back, and I think that music will always be able to do that for us."

The end of the week also brought warm temperatures across the region. San Jose reached the low-to-mid 90s on Friday.

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Some found the scene along South 1st St. to be just the escape they were looking for.

"This is a really good break from the sun and from the heat today," resident Jared Cruz shared.

Live music at the 100 Block mural is back on Saturday. Then the SoFA Music Festival on a smaller scale returns on Sunday. Monday will bring the worldwide celebration of Make Music Day.

Fil Maresca with Filco Events explained, "It's so much fun to be out here again, being able to do this."

"I forgot how stressful and complicated it can be," he joked. "But it's really nice to be able to offer this."

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Maresca believes the return of events will be the ticket to getting people back out and feeling comfortable walking around downtown.

Wickstrom shared, "There's still some unknowns out there, but I think that the more comfortable people get with the social aspect and the community, I think it's moving at a very steady pace."

Until then, crowds may be small, but that isn't knocking the spirit for artists in Downtown San Jose.

"Whether it's 3 people or 300 people, just being able to share that live energy is really what it's all about," Wickstrom said.

For more information about this weekend's events, click here.
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