Just last month, Governor of New York City, Andrew Cuomo, announced guidelines to reopen large-sized venues that would see the return of multi-purpose arenas like Barclay’s Center and Madison Square Garden, albeit under a reduced capacity of 10%. Now, just a few days into March, Cuomo has said that art, entertainment, and music venues can resume from next month [April 2nd] with a reduced capacity at 33%. Already, a number of small venues expect to have performances take place in their flexible spaces around the city.
Under the Governer’s fresh guidelines for venues, there is a limit of 100 people for indoor events and 200 people for outside. It remains a requirement that all venue attendees wear a mask and abide by social distancing rules at all times. Cuomo further added that limits would be increased if attendees were to test negative before entering – permitting that a venue has the capability to administer COVID tests to all of their attendees. Capacity limits would increase to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. However, operating at 33% capacity may still not be feasible for many New York City venues to reopen. After paying performers and taking into account all of the running costs associated with an event/gig, venues are struggling to see how it makes financial sense to reopen given the limits.
We’re still a long way off reaching normality yet and there’s no definitive date on when the music industry will return to full swing. That said, it’s the small changes like increasing capacity limits that give us a glimpse of hope and subtlety demonstrate how the industry is recovering. On top of this, initiatives like New York City’s COVID-19 passport program – Excelsior Pass – are playing a critical role in fast-tracking the reopening of venues, and businesses, and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal. While you’re here, check out this epic set from Above & Beyond at Madison Square Garden.
Image credits: Forbes