New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had some measured good news for the state’s music fans: arts, entertainment, and events venues will be allowed to reopen in April, according to The New York Times. However, there will be limitations, of course, in the interest of public safety. Venues will be capped at 33% capacity, with a maximum of 100 people for indoor and 200 people for outdoor venues. Venues that can administer COVID-19 tests to all attendees can increase that number to 150 people indoors and 500 outdoors. The new rules are set to go into effect on April 2.
However, the Times does note that the limits won’t make it feasible for many venues to open; unless attendees get absolutely loaded, venues likely won’t be able to cover the costs of re-opening, keeping some — or most — effectively closed down until restrictions are lifted further. For instance, Broadway shows won’t be coming back until Labor Day, considering how much cost goes into production — shows that only get 33% attendance generally close within a season. Further complicating the issue is social distancing; many venues would require even lower numbers than that to accommodate six feet of distance between attendees.
But having outdoor shows back could be a good look, especially for indie performers and smaller, lower-production shows. Meanwhile, with something like an average of 65,500 new cases per week and over 517,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, it might be better to be safe than sorry. With the vaccine rollout expected to allow more venues to reopen in the fall according to Presidential chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, fans may appreciate waiting just a few more months.