Colorado Concerts May Reach 80% Capacity By July

By Scott Bernstein Feb 26, 2021 6:47 am PST

If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, live events could be held at 75 – 80% capacity by July in Colorado. The rosy projections, reported on by Westword, were shared by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) yesterday with music industry leaders in the state.

The projection is a best-case scenario and would lead to a fairly normal summer slate at such large venues as Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison and Fiddler’s Green in Greenwood Village. Up first would be the potential of live events returning at 50% capacity by the start of April and 60% capacity by May 1. CDPHE told industry officials, including Colorado Independent Venue Association co-chair and Levitt Pavilion operator Chris Zacher, six-foot social distancing would need to be in place for events held at 50% and 60% capacity with the figure falling to three-feet or potentially no social distancing this summer.

A spokesperson for the CDPHE warned projections aren’t set in stone. “We shared projections with stakeholders recently, including the possibility of expanding event and restaurant capacity to 75-80 percent in July,” the spokesperson told Westword. “Please note that the projections we shared are not concrete and were presented to help the industry plan for the future. We regularly share best guesses for what we expect in the coming months, with a mutual understanding that specific parameters and timelines will change as the pandemic changes. But we have a strong commitment to help our businesses plan for the upcoming months, and so regularly share information.”

Westword’s report includes word Zacher and his colleagues are booking Levitt Pavilion’s 2021 calendar and both Levitt and Red Rocks officials applied to the state for permission to host larger crowds at their venues. “[On Thursday] CDPHE and the governor’s office made positive strides to ensure the long-term health and viability of Colorado’s arts and culture scene,” Zacher noted to Westword. “Our member venues have been shuttered since March of 2020 and/or have been operating at reduced capacity, which is not a viable pathway for solvency. We are confident that these changes are a step in the right direction to help us save our stages, jump-start our economy and get people back to work.”

However, if virus cases remain at the same level they are now or increase, capacity limits could potentially tighten. Head to Westword for more on what CDPHE officials told music industry leaders yesterday.

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