DC launching ‘pilot’ for return to live entertainment at 6 venues

Kennedy Center Performing Arts with reflection on Potomac River, Washington D.C. (Photo by: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

D.C. music venues struggling under the restrictions prompted by the novel coronavirus may have a light at the end of the tunnel.

READ MORE: DC enters phase 2 of reopening

On Friday evening, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office announced that a limited number of live entertainment venues will be permitted to hold events.

The six venues included in the move are:

- City Winery

- GALA Hispanic Theatre

- Pearl Street Warehouse

- The Kennedy Center

- The Hamilton

- Union Stage

The venues must submit plans for reopening, and they will be monitored by the District.

READ MORE: DC-area music venues asking lawmakers for financial help during COVID-19 pandemic

The pilot will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.

In addition, outdoor entertainment venues that have already submitted plans to the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency through its waiver process to review the criteria for hosting live entertainment and resubmit their plans. 

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The organizations that have been invited to resubmit plans for outdoor entertainment include: Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Arena Stage, Busboys and Poets, Capitol Riverfront BID, District Wharf, Et Voila Restaurant, Heist Group at the Kennedy Center, and The Bullpen.

The criteria requires that venues:

- Sell or distribute tickets in advance of the event;

- Have a maximum of fifty (50) persons, including attendees, performers, staff, and all other persons in the venue; 

- Reserve seating with individuals or groups (of no more than six (6) persons) seated at least six (6) feet apart;

- Place seats at least 30 ft. from the stage if there is live singing; otherwise, the seats must be placed at least 20 ft. from the stage;

- that guests remain seated during the performance, only leaving as necessary; 

- Ensure good ventilation;

- Clean the venue and restrooms in accordance with your plan; 

- Maintain a one-way flow of attendees and staff; 

- Enforce that, if indoors, the performance must be less than three (3) hours in duration; 

- Require the performers to be at least six (6) feet apart and wear masks when not performing; 

- Inform your employees of the COVID-19 protocols you have put in place, including a mask or face covering policy and any applicable leave policies;

- Maintain records of all individuals who are in the building during the event; 

- Follow all requirements for food retail operations in the District; 

- Post signage of your mask or face covering guidelines and physical guides or signs of your social distancing policies; and 

- Inform any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to not attend the event.