Live music has been gone for more than a year. Touring crews have been facing a total loss of income, with some at the threat of losing their homes. While artists have been itching to hit the road after being stuck at home, live concert crews have been anxious to get back to work so they can survive.
Now, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. June 15 saw California Governor Gavin Newsom lift all COVID-19 mandates. With nearly half of California’s residents receiving at least their first COVID-19 vaccine, concert venues, bars, baseball stadiums, and Disneyland are all allowed to reopen.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has allowed all businesses to resume “usual operations,” with the exception of “mega events.” Capacity limitations and physical distancing will not be required in venues of any size, however for indoor crowds larger than 5,000 people, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be necessary for entry, while outdoor crowds larger than 10,000 may require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Outdoor venues that may require proof of vaccination will be required to inform attendees ahead of time. Additionally, mask mandates will only remain necessary for those who are unvaccinated, and will utilize the honor system. The state of California will asses the guidelines once again on September 1, and will either restrict once again or lift the mandates all together on October 1, depending on if COVID-19 rates increase or decline.
With the lift on restrictions, many of the shuttered music venues that have been struggling to survive are able to reopen. New festivals and tours continue to be announced every day, providing hope for out-of-work concert crews that they can once again hit the road.
The music industry is returning with a splash, with numerous artists hosting pop-up concerts in Los Angeles to celebrate. Other states have also lifted their restrictions, with New York seeing a mega concert in Central Park to celebrate the city’s reopening.
Featured image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella
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