Despite a current increase in COVID cases in the state, some venues – indoors and out – are planning to host summer tours and other shows. But capacity restrictions remain a major concern.
Justin Bieber makes a rescheduled tour stop on June 25 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, followed four days later by the Dave Matthews Band.
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Country star Luke Bryan performs a sold-out show outside Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant on May 29, with Megadeth / Lamb of God, Snoop Dogg / Wiz Khalifa, Miranda Lambert / Lee Brice on the outdoor stage in July, followed by Shinedown / Pop Evil and Keith Urban / Lindsay Ell in August.
The Pyramid Scheme, meanwhile, hopes to reopen for concerts in September, with alt-rock’s Nada Surf on November 9 serving as the Grand Rapids venue’s first “new show announcement” that has been closed since March 2020. Ditto for The Intersection, which hosts Fozzy on September 17 and Watsky on September 26.
And Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is considering the May announcement of a limited summer series “involving both the Tuesday Evening Music Club (with regional performers) and the Fifth Third Bank summer concerts.”
After a year marked by the pandemic, the Michigan concert train is about to roll out of the station this summer.
Despite the increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in the state, national promoters are moving forward with some summer tours and Michigan venues are hoping capacity restrictions will be relaxed to allow for larger crowds in the coming months.
“While the current numbers are certainly daunting, we’re also hearing better long-term news as vaccine rollout accelerates and major promoters like LiveNation and AEG plan to resume summer tours in June-July,” he said. said John VanderHaagen, Meijer Gardens’ director of communications.
“We are working hard behind the scenes to plan a safe return to live music on the stage at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater. … The safety of guests is our top priority and once outdoor gatherings are deemed safe, we are good to go.
Van Andel Arena now has more than half a dozen major concerts on the program for the summer and fall, several of which will be postponed from 2020. For the arena, it’s all about working with promoters and promoters. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regulations for obtaining them. after a one-year hiatus.
“We are currently following and will continue to follow the protocols and procedures recommended by the MDHHS and other public health officials, event promoters, and federal, state and local governments,” said Hilarie Carpenter, director of marketing for the arena, which will host Reba McEntire, Alabama, The Doobie Brothers and Michael Buble at the end of the summer.
“Capacity will be consistent with capacity restrictions, if any, which are in place in order of MDHHS outbreak at the time of the concerts.”
THE LIFTING OF CAPACITY RESTRICTIONS COULD BE THE KEY TO MOVING CONCERTS
The key word, of course, is “ability”.
Michigan currently limits indoor concert halls with a capacity of over 10,000 to just 750 participants; Large venues that can accommodate up to 10,000 seats are limited to 375 seats. Smaller entertainment venues are limited to 300.
Outdoor venues such as the Meijer Gardens Amphitheater are currently capped at 1,000 (including staff, crew and customers), according to VanderHaagen.
Of course, the requirements for face masks and other safety precautions should also be instituted, based on current state guidelines.
It remains to be seen whether large venues, in particular, can stage major shows and remain financially viable without easing state capacity restrictions in the coming weeks.
Many of Michigan’s major music festivals have already canceled for the second consecutive summer, in part due to uncertainty over crowd size restrictions. Others move forward with confidence, as evidenced by Local Spins’ 2021 Michigan Music Festivals Guide.
And while there is increasing pressure to restart live music and other forms of entertainment, there is also increasing pressure to remain cautious and reinstate tighter restrictions to contain the spread of COVID even as vaccinations go. are accelerating.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention this week even urged the state to implement “stronger mitigation strategies,” according to a report from Bridge Michigan.
The confused image leaves many fans in awe of the summer concert landscape, although it’s also clear that tours and performances will likely increase in earnest in the fall.
“Most of the national reservation activity takes place in October and November,” said Jeff VandenBerg, co-owner of The Pyramid Scheme.
“The shows are starting to be confirmed; some of them have backup takes in the spring, just in case. It’s too early to tell at this point, but people are looking bullish for October. “
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