Touring

Event Safety Alliance Releases Reopening Safety Guide for Venues

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A month into the pandemic, Steven Adelman and Jacob Worek of the Event Safety Alliance were on the phone, talking about how to reopen the concert business -- eventually. "As I looked around the empty streets outside my condo, it became apparent that the small event spaces that were going to get to open first would not have the foggiest idea how to do that safely," says Adelman, a Scottsdale, Ariz., lawyer who is the ESA's vice president.

So Adelman and Worek, the operations director, spent the past month crowd-sourcing more than 400 tour promoters, managers, Ticketmaster employees, caterers and Irish-fair organizers and released a 29-page guide on Monday. Given contradictory, confusing and evolving state stay-at-home restrictions -- bars in Kansas are allowed to open as of May 18 at half capacity, while live concerts resume in Branson, Missouri, this coming Friday -- organizers of the non-profit concert-business group decided to add expertise and clarity.

"They're going to miss stuff because they never had to think about it before," Adelman says. "Everybody wants to keep their stuff clean and in good shape, but my goodness, to avoid transmitting COVID-19 and killing people -- that's a lot to lay on somebody who's a theatre manager who's used to wearing all black and Dickies shorts 12 months out of the year."

Among the recommended guidelines:

  • Hand-washing every hour, as well as after sneezing, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking and other select activities.
  • Required masks.
  • Sanitizing door handles, sink faucets, soap dispensers, elevator buttons, phones, water fountains, vending machines, trash bins and computers, among many other things.
  • Stagger lines into venues so patrons don't have to cluster in lines.
  • Temperature screening for every customer.
  • Clear protective shields for will-call and box-office windows.
  • Employers must provide paid sick leave.When employees can't stay six feet away from others, they should form work teams "in which people routinely work together, but they keep their distance from everyone else."
  • Educate fans "in a word, everywhere," including mobile apps, ticket-selling sites and social media.

"Just knowing how to do what you've always done -- that's not going to cut it at all," Adelman says.

Read the full list of recommended guidelines here.

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