Missouri Governor Mike Parson has given the okay for concerts to begin again in the state as early as Monday.
On April 27, Governor Parson released his Show Me Strong recovery plan that details plans for gradually reopening the state’s economy starting May 4. The plan allows for retail stores to serve customers in-store at limited capacities and for restaurants to re-establish dine-in services while remaining socially distanced.
A first for the country since governments started instating lockdown orders, Missouri will allow residents to attend live events, including concerts. According to the Show Me Strong guidelines, large events and gatherings are no longer banned, but in order to go to a concert, movie theater or stadium “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements.”
A representative from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services clarified for Billboard that concerts do not have to adhere to the same occupancy limitations as retail businesses, but event organizers are expected to keep concertgoers six feet or more apart to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan reads.
Missouri’s larger cities and live music hubs such as St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City will not see concerts or large gatherings return next week. Local officials from Missouri’s major cities, including St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, plan to keep the city’s Stay Home order in effect until further notice.
“We will continue to be guided by data, not dates,” Krewson said yesterday in a post.
With local officials establishing their own recovery plans, the governor’s reopening strategy will not impact many concert venues across the state, such as Music Factory and Old Rock House in St. Louis, as well as Riot Room and Mammoth Uptown Theater in Kansas City.
Venues that are in cities that can reopen are not immediately letting patrons in either. The Blue Note in Columbia is currently scheduled to continue holding its Social Distraction — a live streamed local music concert series in conjunction with local brewery Logboat Brewing Company — through May 15.
“We are currently assessing the details of the announcement and the latest information from health experts,” says Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which runs The Blue Note. “We hope to chart a path to reopening as soon as possible but have not determined the timing of that just yet.”