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The Return of Live Entertainment in the Age of COVID

By Karis Fields

Photo: Time Out — Source

In the year 2020, a year that forced people worldwide to stay indoors, one industry that seemed to take some of the largest punches from the pandemic was the live entertainment industry.

Artists who had scheduled tours throughout the year had to cancel their shows, causing venues to refund audiences. Movie theaters closed their doors to the public. Broadway even ended up having to be shut down.

Now, though, with more people going out and getting the COVID vaccine, places used for live and public entertainment have begun to open back up again.

A large majority of movie theaters such as Regal Cinemas reopened in the US sometime in April of this year, just in time for big budget releases such as Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Free Guy, The Suicide Squad, Black Widow, In the Heights, and many more. Broadway began reopening shows across stages on September 14th of this year. Among these shows, Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked were the first three to welcome back theatre goers. Other shows currently open on Broadway include Waitress, Hadestown, and Come From Away as well as many others. Additionally, many artists have begun touring this year. Specific artists to note are Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Machine Gun Kelly, the Jonas Brothers, and AJR.

With the return of live entertainment, we seem to be headed in a direction of also returning to somewhat normalcy. Even though live entertainment has returned, many of these places have still kept in place some COVID precautions as well as enforced their own.

Regal Cinemas is currently following CDC guidelines. Although they are not requiring vaccinated moviegoers to wear masks and socially distance, they are recommending that unvaccinated moviegoers continue to do so. Employees, though, are required to wear a mask. They have also reduced capacities within their auditoriums. Moviegoers are also able to order tickets as well as concessions in advance to help in keeping with social distancing.

Broadway is requiring theatre viewers ages 12 and older to provide proper proof of vaccination as well as a government issued ID before entry to any theatre. Guests 12 and under need proof of a negative COVID test instead of proof of a vaccine to enter. While inside the theatre, audiences are required to wear a mask. Performers as well as others working with the show are also required to receive the vaccine.

With concerts, many artists and venues have agreed to keep some of the CDC’s COVID rules in place. For example, with Harry Styles touring across the US on his stadium Love On Tour, his verified fan account has made it clear with a post stating the various restrictions put in place for all of his concerts. All ticket holders must provide proof of vaccine or negative COVID test before entry to the venue and they must also wear a mask at all times while in the venue.

Live entertainment is one of the many things missed most by the public during the pandemic. It is something that connects people from all different cultures as well as giving them an authentic, unforgettable experience during the process. There’s something about going to see something live that is almost euphoric somehow. For many people, the return of live entertainment means that the world is healing.


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