With states continuing to rollback and retool their COVID-19 lockdown measures, some artists are returning to the road and performing live concerts for fans once again. To help these individuals chart their tours, comply with statewide requirements, and, most importantly, keep attendees safe, here’s a one-stop guide to closures in every U.S. state.
Last updated: Monday, July 6th.
The following summary of coronavirus reopening guidelines was compiled from state governments’ newest policies and guidelines as of Monday, July 6th, with a focus on pertinent information for artists. Some locations are currently allowing full-scale audiences to assemble, and others are prohibiting all but drive-in performances from taking place.
The majority of Alabama businesses have reopened while adhering to social distancing measures, but concert venues are classified under the “high-risk businesses and activities” category and are currently closed.
Alaska has reopened most of its businesses (including event venues), but large-gathering organizers are required to follow an array of safety procedures, including establishing “ways to maintain at least 6 feet of distancing between non-household members, whenever possible.”
The precise definition of “establish” and “whenever possible” aren’t fully clear, but it appears that concerts can in fact resume.
However, those who plan to travel to Alaska must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, receive a test after landing (self-quarantining until results arrive), or self-quarantine for 14 days (at their personal expense).
Arizona reinstituted many of its coronavirus reopening guidelines on Monday – including a month-long closure for bars, gyms, and other businesses. “Organized public events” of 50 or more attendees – concerts among them – are banned under this order unless promoters receive permission from local government officials.
Since May 18th, theaters, arenas, stadiums, and other establishments “that are designed for large groups” have been able to welcome 50 or fewer guests with strict social distancing guidelines.
California’s county-by-county reopening plan is governed by a “Resilience Roadmap.” Said Roadmap is currently in Stage 2, and Stage 4 will allow “concert venues” to “gradually” welcome back fans.
Following another rise in cases over the Fourth of July weekend, the governor added multiple counties to his COVID-19 watchlist.
Colorado has drafted a collection of coronavirus reopening guidelines for outdoor concerts, which, if implemented, will allow venues to welcome up to 175 people per show, depending upon their size. However, it’s unclear whether these suggested coronavirus reopening guidelines will move forward immediately; Governor Polis recently reclosed bars following an influx of new cases.
As part of the second phase of its reopening plan (which began on June 17th), Connecticut is limiting outdoor event venues to 25 percent of their fire capacity and requiring social distancing measures. Indoor concerts are still on ice, however.
Outdoor concerts in open areas may welcome any number of guests, provided that 15 feet separate each group of guests “blanket to blanket.”
Phase 3, including indoor concerts and large outdoor functions, was previously set to begin later this month. However, the governor recently struck an uncertain tone when discussing whether he’ll move forward with the phase as scheduled, owing to some other states’ infection-rate upticks.
Florida is in Phase 2 of its county-based reopening plan, which enables large venues such as “concert halls” to operate at up to 50 percent capacity, provided that staff frequently disinfect surfaces and assure that there’s “a minimum of 6 feet separating parties.”
It appears that outdoor concerts and other crowd-based entertainment businesses can resume with social distancing measures in place. Disney theme parks are moving forward with their reopening plans presently.
One of the first U.S. states to reopen, Georgia officially allowed live performance venues to resume hosting shows on July 1st, though owners must adhere to an array of coronavirus reopening guidelines depending upon the size of their respective venues. Additionally, promoters and artists are “strongly encouraged to adopt additional measures to those required.”
Hawaii has yet to green-light “high-risk” activities like concerts, and through at least July’s end, travelers will be required to complete mandatory 14-day quarantines.
Currently in Phase 4 of its reopening, Illinois is not allowing “general admission shows and/or events with standing room only” – including most concerts – to proceed. Also banned are “indoor spectator events.”
Indiana’s Stage 4 coronavirus reopening guidelines allow “concert and event spaces” to open at 50% capacity; Stage 5 was expected to begin on July 4th, but was supplanted by “Stage 4.5,” which maintains most of the same restrictions – including a 250-person limit at gatherings.
Iowan event promoters can host as many concert attendees as they’d like, provided that social distancing guidelines – including six feet between each party – are adhered to.
Kansas will continue with Phase 3 of its reopening plan for longer than expected. Activities and venues can “safely reopen” under the coronavirus reopening guidelines, though six-foot social distancing measures will remain in place.
Plus, facilities should “avoid any instances in which more than 45 individuals are in one location” such as rooms or lobbies. (The figure isn’t a ban on attendance per se, but one would assume that its implications for concert promoters will prove significant.)
As of June 29th, “music and concert halls” in Kentucky can reopen at up to 50 percent capacity while maintaining six feet of social distancing between each party.
Still in Phase 2 (and poised to remain there for some time, per the governor), Louisiana maintains that: “Live entertainment, including musical performances, is not permitted inside any building or indoor function.”
Group seating restrictions and social distancing measures govern outdoor functions presently.
Maine’s coronavirus reopening guidelines have conspicuously omitted crowd-based live events like concerts, and the functions are presumably banned for the time being.
Stage 3 of the reopening plan began on Monday, July 6th, but continued the state’s 14-day quarantine (or negative COVID-19 test) requirement and 50-person limit on gatherings.
Maryland is similarly mum on outdoor concerts specifically, but theaters “at which live performances occur” have been required to stay closed since June 19th.
Massachusetts moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday, July 6th. Under Phase 3, indoor gatherings are capped at 25 individuals, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 persons (or 25 percent of the capacity of a “single enclosed outdoor space.” The governor has signaled that Phase 4 won’t begin until a coronavirus vaccine is widely available.
Some parts of Michigan have started Phase 5 of the coronavirus reopening plan, which allows outdoor events with up to 500 attendees. However, the majority of the state is still operating under Phase 4 coronavirus reopening guidelines, which enable “small gatherings” to take place and call for guests and employees to adhere to many social distancing measures.
In addition to detailing health-minded coronavirus reopening guidelines, Minnesota’s ongoing Phase 3 specifies that “indoor events and entertainment” may take place with 25 percent capacity (capped at 250 guests), while outdoor events and entertainment are capped at 250 attendees regardless of capacity or size.
Concerts may resume with strict size restrictions in Mississippi: In indoor settings where social distancing “is not possible,” capacity is limited to 20 (and 50 for outdoor settings wherein social distancing cannot easily be implemented).
“When social distancing is possible” (though there’s no mention of implementing these possible social distancing measures), indoor functions may accommodate 50 guests and outdoor functions 100 guests.
Missouri was among the first states to welcome back concertgoers, though social distancing guidelines remain in place.
In the ongoing second phase of its coronavirus reopening plan, Montana – which has reported just 967 COVID-19 cases to date, the least of any continental state – indicates that “concert halls…may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.”
As part of Phase 3 coronavirus reopening guidelines, Nebraskan restaurants and bars can operate with 100 percent capacity – and presumably host live music. The state hasn’t addressed concerts specifically, but indoor gatherings are limited to 50 percent capacity, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 75 percent capacity (with social distancing and groups of up to eight).
Through at least July’s end, within Nevada’s Phase 2 of reopening, “musical performances, live entertainment, concerts, competitions, sporting events, and any events with live performances may resume, but shall remain closed for public attendance.”
Performing arts centers can open with 50 percent capacity and social distancing measures in place. However, out-of-state travelers have “to provide signed documentation stating you remained at home for at least a 14-day quarantine” before entering the state.
“Mass gatherings” featuring five or more individuals “in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space” within six feet of one another are currently prohibited in New Mexico. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has indicated that her coronavirus reopening guidelines won’t allow mass gatherings to proceed this summer.
New York’s coronavirus reopening guidelines have been divided by industry and location (with some regions in Phase 4, and others, including, NYC, still in Phase 3 at the time of this writing). That said, gatherings are capped at 25 (up from 10) in Phase 3.
With Phase 3 delayed, North Carolina’s Phase 2 limits indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people, while prohibiting bars, nightclubs, and indoor music venues from reopening.
Under the overarching “ND Smart Restart Plan,” which details the state’s gradual coronavirus reopening guidelines, music venues can reopen with limited capacity and social distancing measures in place.
Ohio is continuing to order arenas, stadiums, auditoriums, music halls, and indoor concert venues closed.
Most indoor mass gatherings of over ten individuals are prohibited, but current coronavirus reopening guidelines allow for socially distanced outdoor concerts (which many cities and counties have nevertheless canceled).
Oklahoma is allowing outdoor and indoor concerts, provided that organizers “develop, implement, and maintain and revise a cleaning and disinfecting plan.” Social distancing isn’t required, though some cities and local governments are implementing safety requirements, which organizers must abide by.
Defining concerts as “highest-risk activities,” Oregon’s coronavirus reopening guidelines state that the events “are cancelled or significantly modified through at least September.”
The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s counties are in the “green” phase of the state’s location-by-location reopening plan. Under this phase, entertainment venues can reopen with 50 percent capacity, though gatherings of 250 or more individuals are still prohibited.
Bars and restaurants are also limited to half capacity.
Rhode Island’s “outdoor and indoor event venues can open at 66% capacity” under Phase 3 of the reopening plan, but social distancing guidelines are still being enforced.
The guideline appears to address small establishments specifically, for indoor concert venues are limited to 125 persons and outdoor venues 250 persons.
South Carolina’s “large community events” – presumably including concerts, though the functions haven’t been specified by name in coronavirus reopening guidelines – are allowed to take place, but it’s recommended that organizers institute safety measures.
South Dakota was one of the few states to forego issuing a stay-at-home order during the early days of the pandemic, and concerts can be booked in the location presently. Individuals and promoters are encouraged to take health-minded steps and “consider restricting occupancy.”
Concerts can proceed in Tennessee, though promoters must separate parties by six or more feet and adhere to an array of other safety-centered coronavirus reopening guidelines.
Texas recently reclosed its bars, and outdoor event capacities are capped at 100 – unless city/local leaders approve a larger crowd.
Most parts of Utah (counties are classified by COVID-19’s prevalence) can welcome as many as 3,000 fans to indoor concerts and 6,000 fans to outdoor concerts, provided that masks are worn and social distancing is enforced.
“Event venues” can accommodate a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, depending upon their total size. However, visitors must “still quarantine for 14-days [sic] upon entrance into Vermont or quarantine for at least seven days upon entrance into Vermont and receive a negative COVID-19 test.”
Under its new Phase 3 coronavirus reopening guidelines, Virginia is allowing concerts and other live entertainment functions. But promoters must adhere to a multitude of social distancing and sanitization requirements, including: “Ten feet of physical distance must be maintained between all performers, participants, and patrons who are not members of the same household.”
Indoor concerts are prohibited under Phase 3 of Washington’s county-by-county coronavirus reopening guidelines, but outdoor gatherings can welcome up to 50 guests, and some have started offering concerts.
West Virginia residents can hold outdoor concerts with as many as 100 attendees if “appropriate spacing” is observed between seats.
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home order (and, in turn, concert restrictions) in May, though many cities and counties have subsequently issued (and continued to enforce) their own coronavirus reopening guidelines.
Wyoming has capped indoor and outdoor event attendance at 250 people, and organizers must enforce several social distancing guidelines (including six-foot spaces separating each party).