California Allows Concerts in April As COVID cases decline, public events begin
Over a year later after the pandemic began, many of us are only just now getting vaccinated or signed up to be. As California continues to get vaccines out to people, the state’s Department of Public Health announced earlier this month that, beginning on April 15, indoor concerts, private gatherings and theatres may reopen. After a year of rescheduled concerts and online performances, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for.
While the state is still determining what these new restrictions and guidelines will be, they have made one rule extremely clear already: those in attendance will either need to prove that they’ve been fully vaccinated or get tested.
These new restrictions will also affect the number of people allowed to attend an event, but this is entirely dependent upon which of the four-colored tiers a specific county is in. As of April 6, 2021, Fresno was in the red tier which allows for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people. 200 are allowed if everyone is vaccinated, or otherwise has proof of a negative test, within indoor dining capacity limits.
The state’s Department of Public Health has also recommended that venues with counties in the red tier continue to physically distance, offer advance ticket purchasing, create designated areas for eating/drinking and limit their events to only those living in the state. They noted that, as counties begin to move out of a lower tier and into a higher tier, restrictions may loosen and capacity will be allowed to increase. With vaccines now being made eligible to California residents of age 16 and up, along with COVID tests beng more easily accessible than they were a year ago, it brings hope that we can soon return to normalcy.
With the state releasing this guideline of rules that counties must follow in order for venues to safely be used, Ticketmaster has also released a guide for what fans should expect. After the entire country faced setbacks the past year, Ticketmaster strongly encourages fans to invest in ticket insurance, allowing them to obtain their money even if waylaid by illness or cancellation. However, they’ve also calmed fans by noting their urging of venues to create healthy and safe environments, adopt social distancing guidelines and include frequent sanitization. They have now transitioned solely to contactless tickets, reducing the amount of exposure between fans and workers.
However, one of their biggest changes is the addition of grouped seating. In order to both prevent exposure and help venues with capacity levels, they’ve created a special seating option for those who will attend in a large group. It allows families and friends to stay together rather than being spread out.
They have also warned fans that, while each venue is different, they can expect the following rules to be enforced when concerts begin: a mask requirement, clean venue, temperature checks, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations and timed entry.
As many are looking forward to in-person concerts, Ticketmaster is also promoting drive-in concerts, which takes place from concertgoers’ cars. In areas where capacity is extremely low, a drive-in concert may be a fun alternative!
As April 15 has finally arrived, we can look forward to June 15, which Governor Newsom has announced to be the day we can expect the state of California to officially reopen. We can only remain optimistic that by June venue capacity will rise, our favorite artists will begin touring and restrictions will loosen as COVID cases decline.
Author: Shyanne Mortimer | A&E Co-Editor