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Events organization issues guidlines for reopening venues

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Cautioning that "there is no guarantee of an illness-free event" when concerts, sporting events and other mass gatherings begin again, the Event Safety Alliance has offered extensive guidelines for the future.

The non-profit organization has published the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, a detailed 29-page document detailing both philosophies and practices as venues from bars to stadiums start to host events again. Declaring that "we want to reopen safely," the guide -- culled from interviews with more than 400 entertainment business workers -- professes "that planning, training, and implementing reasonable health and safety measures are the best ways to protect live events and the people who create them, while also inspiring patrons to return to the places where we make that magic happen."

The guide's publication comes in the wake of Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino's comments that the company doesn't anticipate a "full scale" return until the second half of 2021, with alternate plans such as online and drive-in concerts. Branson, Mo., however, will begin hosting concerts again this weekend, while a club in Fort Smith, Ark., is scheduled to host a concert on Friday, May 15.

Among the ESA's recommendations in the report are:

Educating fans "in a word, everywhere," from social distancing at events to using mobile apps, ticket-selling sites and social media.

Employee guidelines for personal hygiene and sanitizing facilities, including employees washing hands every hour and constantly cleaning.

Required masks for employees and patrons.

Temperature screening for patrons.

Clear protective shields at box offices.

Stagger lines and even scheduling arrival times to avoid clustering as patrons enter venues and provide handwashing stations around the facilities.

Significant changes in food and beverage service, including area seating and waste management.

Employee work teams that stay consistently together but socially distances from others.

Paid sick leave for employees.

The report notes that "we all want to reopen as fully and quickly as possible without unreasonably risking health or safety" and adds that "everyone has a legal duty to behave as a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances. It also points out that "a government directive legally allowing you to reopen does not mean you can do so safely."

The full guidelines can be found at eventsafetyalliance.org.

Web Site: www.eventsafetyalliance.org

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