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Performing arts events, more concerts headed outdoors to help COVID-19 social distancing

Posted by   /  June 19, 2020  /  No Comments

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By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

It’s still unclear when Major League Baseball may return including to Arizona’s Spring Training ballparks such as Scottsdale Stadium.

But the spring home of the San Francisco Giants could be hosting concerts and performing arts events as Scottsdale Arts and other groups look at social distancing and more open-air events in the age of COVID-19.

That is according to Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts.

Wuestemann said during Rose Law Group’s New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch today that arts groups are going to have to look at more creative ways and places to host events because of social distancing and other COVID related concerns.

Such efforts could include holding events at Scottsdale Stadium or other outside venues.

“We might go into the stadium for some big shows and space people out, Wuestemann said during the virtual forum hosted by Rose Law Group Partners Jordan Rose and Court Rich.

Scottsdale Arts already plans to host an outdoor concert with R&B and Gospel music legend Mavis Staples scheduled for November 8th.

Wuestemann said arts and performing arts groups need to get creative in their event as well as their business models as the navigate.

He noted while Scottsdale Arts has not had to layoff or furlough any of its 175 employees many other arts groups have cut jobs and programs in the wake of COVID-19.

“They didn’t have two weeks of cash on hand,” Wuestemann said of the financial straits of other groups. Like other groups and businesses, arts and performing arts groups have had events canceled and revenue and donations depleted due to the pandemic.

“We need to look at our business models,” Wuestemann said.

He said groups and venues will have to figure out how to social distance, how to ensure health safety and how to configure performances.

He said that could be big challenges or orchestras and symphonies in particular because of acoustics and timing.

Wuestemann said building confidence regarding venturing is especially important to performing arts and arts venues considering some of their audiences tend to be older. That can mean measures such temperature checks, mask requirements, HVAC ventilation improvements and figuring how to distance various parties from each other during shows.

“People don’t come in ones”, Wuestemann said.

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