California to Allow Limited Indoor Concerts April 15

April 2, 2021, 4:13 PM · In potentially good news for California performing arts organizations, the state on Friday announced major revisions to its reopening system, allowing limited-capacity indoor concerts, theater performances, and other private gatherings to start on April 15.

Gustavo LA Phil
Looking toward that day when we can get back to full capacity concerts like this! Photo by Vern Evans.

The rate of people testing positive for COVID at a record low in the state, after aggressive containment measures combined with massive vaccination efforts. At this point, about 38 percent of California's 40 million residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, with around half of those being fully vaccinated.

In order to attend concerts, people will have to either be tested for COVID or show proof of full vaccination.

Gatherings will still be limited in number, based on the level of restrictions in place in each county. Those restrictions are based on the state's color tier system for the virus: purple (virus is widespread), red (substantial), orange (moderate) and yellow (minimal). As of today, Los Angeles County is in the orange tier, San Francisco and most surrounding counties are in the orange tier; and San Diego is in the red tier.

Here are the new details about concerts and private events, based on tiers: Indoor concerts will be allowed for counties in the red tier, but at 10 percent capacity for venues of up to 1,500 people and 20 percent capacity for venues with capacity greater than that. Capacity limits increase in the orange and yellow. In the purple tier, indoor concerts and theater performances still will not be allowed.

Private events will be allowed indoors in the red tier, but limited to 50 people. However, that capacity increases to 200 people if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination. Private events will be allowed only outdoors in the purple tier and will be limited to 25 people.

Clearly, things aren't back to normal. Capacity will start very low for many California venues. People are still asked to wear masks, distance, and get vaccinated if they have not already done so. But this is certainly an improvement. Let's hope things continue in that direction and we can see our performing arts groups getting back to making music for a full-capacity, live audience!

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