A Key Grip Masked Ball is like a regular gig/event at Smith’s, but all participants, including staff and barflies, must wear a Covid mask for the duration of the show. Everyone is invited to make and/or bring their own mask (emphasis on ‘make’, let’s get creative and have fun), but for those that don’t, we will provide a variety of masks, handmade and bought, to buy or borrow, upon arrival. We will also be running a mask-making workshop.

For those that are interested, there’s an explanation of why we’re doing this below. By all means read and try to understand it, but if you aren’t supportive and would refuse to wear a mask if asked, please don’t come along and make a fuss. We’re not trying to create controversy or conflict, but if anyone attempts to defy our conditions of entry, we will refuse access and call the authorities if necessary.


Providing musical entertainment on the night are Key Grip. Possibly Canberra’s best kept secret, Key Grip are the jazz/blues quintet delicious swinging wet dream soundtracks are played by. Five of the best musos in town come together to play their favourite songs, a choice selection of material, many familiar classics, some lesser known classics and some classic originals to boot. Key Grip are:

Leo Joseph - piano/Hammond and vocals
Angela Lount - vocals
Mitch Preston - drums
James Luke - bass
Tom Fell - sax

There will be two shows of one hour duration, with the four metre rule dictating a limit of 24 audience for each. Tickets are $15 for one show and $25 for both.

Why Masks?

Smith’s has decided to initiate compulsory mask wearing for selected events for a number of reasons:

First, we agree with most available expert advice that masks, particularly if worn by all people in a space, will reduce the incidence of Covid transmission by reducing the amount of spittle entering the airspace from people’s mouths.

Second, we have friends and relatives who are vulnerable to respiratory infections and we’d like to create some events that are safer for them, and all others similarly vulnerable, to attend.

Third, we accept the (vast) majority scientific opinion that efforts to eliminate or contain the pandemic’s spread are the best way forward. We don’t want to be responsible for the spread of infection. We believe we should remain vigilant, even though spread has stalled in Canberra, citing New Zealand as the perfect example of how insidiously Covid can re-enter a population.

We acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and thus we are entitled to ours also. If anyone feels discriminated against, we invite them to attend all the gigs we run which don’t require wearing a mask. We ask them to think of vulnerable people who feel excluded from all those events.

We take our responsibilities as hosts very seriously. The safety of our guests is always our highest priority. We very seldom impose conditions of entry at Smith’s, but when we do, we expect the local community to respect our decisions. Your best and most appropriate method of protest is to absent yourself. We will respect your decision to do so.

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