Now that all Stay-at-Home orders have been lifted across the country, we’re starting to see states loosen even more restrictions.
Governor Kemp of Georgia just announced that bars, nightclubs, and Summer school can open, and restrictions on social gatherings will be loosened on June 1st (today).
Kemp said “encouraging data” on COVID-19 cases prompted his decision to allow social gatherings of 25 people beginning June 1 if they follow social distancing guidelines. The governor said this decision would, hopefully, allow for small weddings and some sporting events to be held.
Live Events are Back (Sort of)
With the loosened restrictions on social gatherings, it makes way for live events to begin, but they won’t look like pre-COVID-19 live events.
Events and gathering places will have to follow 39 mandatory measures to “ensure patron well-being.” Nightspots will be limited to 25 people at a time or 35 percent of their total occupancy space.
What About Live Performance Venues?
Unfortunately, live performance venues will remained close for now, but Kemp’s administration is working with operators to “prepare for the future.”
Hopefully we’ll see a solution for opening concert venues soon, but it’s clear they’re looking to keep crowds limited, which is tough to do at a live show.
Pop up Drive-Ins are filling this void, and we’ll see more and more drive-in concerts happening through this year.
Other Event Venues Are Opening
Summer school sessions are allowed, but an executive order is coming with with very specific criteria they must follow.
Overnight summer camps will be permitted and banquet facilities can reopen if they follow similar guidelines for restaurants.
Amusement parks and water parks can reopen on June 12.
Professional and amateur sports teams can resume practice on June 1, but fans being in the stands is still not allowed, and there hasn’t been a date set for when the fans can return.
What Does This all Mean?
Well, we’re not entirely sure.
With small gatherings being allowed, it means weddings are a go. Small weddings. But weddings could be perfect for testing a hybrid event where your 25 closest friends or family attend the event, while the entire ceremony and reception are livestreamed for friends to watch online. And think of the cost savings with only having to provide food and bar for 25 people!
Banquet facilities reopening brings back conferences, holiday parties, meetings, and a lot of other options. Again, with the restrictions in place, we’ll be seeing the rise of hybrid events, but it’s a start.
Event planners have a lot of room to work with now that social gathering restrictions are being loosened, and the advancements we’ve seen in the virtual events space will pair nicely to start building really creative hybrid events.