SUNBURY — In what owner Tom Webb expected to be the biggest summer concert series in Spyglass Ridge Winery's history, COVID-19 hit and never looked back.
"This all came out of nowhere and it has struck us and everyone very hard," Webb said. "We are doing all we can to keep going."
Every time Webb began to prepare his 78-feet long, 45-feet wide and 50-feet high stage for a show, he had to back off and wait for more instructions from Gov. Tom Wolf, he said.
The same stage that has seen the likes of ZZ Top, Heart, Joan Jett, Chicago, George Thorogood and multiple others now sits half prepared as Webb concentrates on his employees and their families, he said.
Webb has six full-time employees and one part-time employee, for Spyglass and Webb's part ownership in soon-to-open Three Beards Brewery.
"This is all about doing all we can to keep our people working," he said.
Three Beards has been producing beer for several years at brew fests across the Valley and at Spyglass for Webb’s “Backyard Summer Concert Series” events.
Webb said he was excited for people to be able to see the brewery and winery all at once this summer.
“We all worked very hard and had a lot of support along the way,” Webb said. “We all were hoping for this summer to be a time where people could come out here and relax, listen to music and check out the brewery."
Spyglass was set to see major performers like, comedian Jeff Dunham and musical acts Blues Traveler, The Steve Miller Band and Third Eye Blind all hit the stage.
"We have rescheduled everything to 2021," Webb said. "We have been following the strict guidelines of Gov. Tom Wolf."
Webb retired from Service Electric Television, in Point Township, in February, but said had he been able to see the future, he might have stayed on working.
"I retired on Feb. 7 and my father died on Feb. 25 and then all of this started to hit," he said. "We want to continue to give our area entertainment and a place to go and I plan on keeping every one of my employees working but believe me when I tell you this has been a struggle like I have never seen. People say this is a recession, but it is a depression."
Sunbury Councilman Josh Brosious said he feels bad for Valley residents who are missing out on the summer of 2020.
"I applaud Tom Webb for following the guidelines and I also feel bad for him and his business," he said. "We need to make sure everyone is safe but I know it stinks for people who want to go out and relax and listen to the quality entertainment Spyglass brings to Sunbury."
Councilman Jim Eister agreed. "These are tough times and we are all rooting for all of our businesses to pull through this," he said. "We know how the entire Valley loves to come to Sunbury for the music out at Spyglass and then those same people eat in our restaurants and buy gas, so this is a trickle-down effect that is costing all of us."
For Webb, he will continue to follow the guidelines limiting crowds at outdoor events to no more than 250 people, he said.
"We will be having small concerts with tribute bands starting on Aug. 15 every weekend," he said. "We will have social distancing and we will continue to follow the protocols put in place. I am hoping that next year we can return even bigger. We had no issues with the musical acts rescheduling but we still feel bad for all of our freinds and family and people who love to come to Spyglass and relax and enjoy music in our backyard. It's been a nightmare for all of us, but we will regroup."