In a move that may come as a surprise to some, Missouri Governor Mike Parson has given the green light for artists to showcase their talents in concert form beginning Monday, May 5, 2020.
The state’s Show Me Strong recovery plan, which was detailed on April 27, 2020, includes retail stores to open with limited capacity and restaurants to re-introduce in-person dining with social distancing guidelines.
Also permitted is Missouri’s citizens to attend live events, including concerts, a first in the United States since the government shutdowns.
However, there’s a catch.
While the guidelines permit such activities as going to movie theaters and stadiums, “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements.”
A spokesperson from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services has made it clear that concerts do not have to adhere to the same occupancy limitations as retail businesses, but are expected to keep attendees six or more feet apart.
“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.
And, there’s another catch.
The state’s larger cities, including St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City, will have to wait. Officials from those cities, including St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, plan to keep the state’s Stay Home order in effect until further notice.
“We will continue to be guided by data, not dates,” the Mayor said in a post on May 1, 2020.
The announcement from the Governor has not swayed the plans of many local officials who continue to establish their recovery strategies. Therefore, many of the larger venues across the state, including Old Rock House and Music Factory in St. Louis as well as Riot Room and Mammoth Uptown Theater in Kansas City, will not immediately reopen.
As for venues in smaller cities? They’re not opening either anytime soon.
Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which runs The Blue Note in Columbia said, “We are currently assessing the details of the announcement and the latest information from health experts. We hope to chart a path to reopening as soon as possible but have not determined the timing of that just yet.”
The Blue Note is still scheduled to continue holding its Social Distraction, a live-streamed local music concert series in partnership with a local brewery, through May 15, 2020.