Today, Missouri will allow residents to attend concerts and other live events, becoming the first state to do so. According to the governor’s Show Me Strong recovery plan, large events and gatherings are no longer banned, but concert venues, movie theaters and stadiums will have seating that is “spaced out according to social distancing requirements.” These new measures, however, will not apply to larger cities like St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City, where lockdown measures amid COVID-19 are still in place.
A representative from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services told Billboard that concerts do not have to follow the same occupancy limitations as retail businesses, but event organizers are expected to keep concertgoers six feet or more apart. “There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan reads.
This news comes after health expert Ezekiel Emanuel predicted that concerts and other larger gatherings would return in Fall 2021 at the earliest, explaining that “when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility.” Both New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed that their cities wouldn’t be hosting concerts and festivals anytime soon, citing a vaccine or “some sort of pharmaceutical intervention” as the only way to begin opening concert venues up to the public.
While Missouri prepares to resume large events and gatherings, not all concert venues in smaller cities are opening immediately. The Blue Note in Columbia has chosen to continue livestreaming its Social Distraction concert series through May 15. “We hope to chart a path to reopening as soon as possible but have not determined the timing of that just yet,” said Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which runs The Blue Note.
Stay tuned for more updates on state reopenings. In the meantime, check out rising artist 645AR’s reality-bending “Yoga” music video.
This is an important reminder.
Though portions of the state will begin to slowly reopen Monday, @STLCityGov will not. While we are developing a phased approach for our own reopening, the City’s #StayHome orders remain in place.
We will continue to be guided by data, not dates. https://t.co/a1wqavqgNM
— Mayor Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) May 1, 2020