The NorVA readies its comeback, says All Time Low to likely be first big show

The NorVA exterior
Posted at 7:27 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 10:06:15-04

NORFOLK, Va. - "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."

Those are the words that right now adorn The NorVA's glowing marquee, a promise that looks more and more fulfilled every day.

After 15 months largely sitting empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the beloved music venue on Monticello Avenue has announced numerous shows in recent weeks.

"It's an exciting time for us because we have literally more artists that want to tour than (available) dates," said Rick Mersel, vice president for AEG and The Bowery Presents' Mid-Atlantic region, which operates The NorVA.

The NorVA interior
Andrew McMahon performs inside The NorVA in 2017.

On Wednesday, The NorVA revealed Clutch would perform September 8, one day after announcing All Time Low, known for its recent hit "Monsters," for August 24.

"We anticipate that will be our first show coming back," said Mersel.

The two rock acts are among the latest in a slew of confirmed performances released on the venue's social media pages.

Mersel tells News 3 that acts have been anxious to get back on the road, just as fans of The NorVA have been waiting to walk through the doors once again.

Just as social media is playing a big role in announcing shows now, it was a crucial part of keeping fans engaged at the height of the pandemic. Mersel says it was the only way to celebrate the NorVA's 20th anniversary which fell in April of last year.

"We wanted to keep in touch with fans throughout this whole pandemic. We've definitely been posting pictures of old concerts and old performances," said Mersel.

Now the focus is on ensuring the 1,450-person capacity venue is ready for the comeback with a recent private event for Diamond Resorts serving as a dry run of sorts.

"I immediately felt the urge to give hugs and fist bumps and I was really happy to see our staff back and they look and feel refreshed and ready to go," Mersel told News 3. "They're going to be super busy starting in September because we're going to almost have a show every single night through December."

From there, The NorVA is planning a celebration for next year, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the building that houses the venue.

For more information about The NorVA's reopening plans and tickets for shows, click HERE.