With California Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s pledge to fully reopen the state’s economy Tuesday (June 15), nearly all concerts can now resume without capacity limits.
According to California Department of Public Health (CDPH), all businesses are allowed to resume “usual operations” starting Tuesday with the exception of “mega events” with more than 5,000 attendees indoors and 10,000 outdoors attendees. These events face restrictions if they are ticketed, general admission or gated, regardless of whether they are seated or standing.
Indoor mega events are required to verify vaccination status or receive negative test results for all attendees. Event organizers must also clearly inform attendees of the verification efforts on all communications, including acceptable modes of verification.
Outdoor mega events will also need to inform attendees of verification efforts, but organizers do not need to require proof of vaccination or negative test results. The CDPH instead “strongly recommends” events seek this information and suggests organizers ask attendees who cannot verify vaccination or a negative test to wear a face covering.
As of Tuesday, mask guidelines in California state that only unvaccinated people are required to wear masks in public and all businesses, including concerts, have options for how they can keep everyone safe. Venues can choose to allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest (a.k.a. the honor system), implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask, or require all patrons to wear masks.
The requirements and recommendations for negative testings and vaccine verification will be in place effective through Oct. 1. On Sept. 1, the state will assess conditions to determine whether updated requirements are needed beyond Oct. 1.
Concerts smaller than those defined as mega events are allowed to return to business as usual without capacity limitations, social distancing or vaccination verification. Tonight, the Foo Fighters will play one of the most high-profile in-person concerts in California since the pandemic. Dave Grohl and company will perform at the roughly 1,300-capacity Canyon Club in Southern California. Ticket purchasers were required to show proof of vaccination for the band’s warm-up gig before they play a full-capacity (20,789 attendees) Madison Square Garden show on June 20 in New York.
Many California venues are easing back into live events as more artists return to the road and independent venues await Shuttered Venue Operators Grant money to fund reopening. Iconic venues such as The Troubadour in Los Angeles will resume shows in late August, while The Independent in San Francisco will reopen its door in late July. Starting July 30, Staples Center in Los Angeles will host its first concert in 513 days with a seven-date run from regional Mexican act Grupo Firme.