As COVID-19 continues spreading across the world, and 2020 turned out to be a year so different from any other, we realised there were a number of things we took for granted that we no longer have access to. One industry that has been hit especially hard by the pandemic is live entertainment.
Obviously, in the current scenario, entertainment is a relatively low priority compared to people’s safety and survival. But, at the same time, for many of us it is entertainment—art, music, theatre, etc.— that provides a much-needed outlet, especially during difficult times such as these.
Life during a pandemic doesn’t have to be a colourless, lifeless slog. Here’s some helpful advice for anyone looking to put together a live entertainment event in these trying times.
Follow Safety Guidelines
First things first, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of you, your guests, and your performers. That’s why, if you’re going to attempt to hold some kind of live entertainment event during the pandemic, it is absolutely vital that you follow any and all safety guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local steel drum player or a world-famous magician: no one is exempt.
With COVID-19 still a very real threat, here are some of the guidelines currently recommended by the CDC for public events and gatherings:
- Recommend guests, performers, and event staff to get tested for COVID-19 and, if the results are positive, to quarantine themselves immediately.
- Require guests, performers, and event staff to wear masks or otherwise cover their nose and mouth, and to stand at least 6 feet apart at all times.
- Limit attendance capacity to accommodate social distancing.
- Encourage guests, performers, and event staff to wash their hands regularly, and provide them with sufficient supplies to do so (soap and water, hand sanitizer, etc.).
- Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, where possible.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces after every use if possible. If not, do it at least once daily.
For more COVID-19 guidelines, visit the CDC website.
Go Outdoors When Possible
As noted in the guidelines above, social distancing is key to preventing the spread of disease. It’s often difficult to do that, though, when indoor venues have limited space. Even larger venues only have so much room. People aren’t statues. They get restless and move around. In order to maintain a safe six-foot distance from others, everyone else needs to move around in response as well. It’s easy to see how quickly things can fall out of your control.
That’s why, if weather permits, it’s generally a good idea to try and hold live entertainment events at outdoor venues. Parks, fields, beaches and the like are all spacious areas that make safe social distancing easier.
Try Hosting Virtual Events
Unfortunately for those of us who live for the thrill of in-person concerts and other performances, organising such events isn’t always possible. Booking appropriate venues can be expensive. Finding entertainers can be tough. Controlling crowds is complicated. Once again, people’s health must always take priority.
That doesn’t mean folks can’t enjoy live entertainment in other forms. Live entertainment broadcast directly into the audience’s home has been a staple of the industry since the birth of radio and television. Today, it’s even easier to organise virtual performances, thanks to high-quality video streaming apps like YouTube Live, Periscope, Livestream, and more.
COVID-19 and other pandemics may get in the way of us enjoying the things we love, but with a little creativity and elbow-grease, nothing is impossible.