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Mayor Bowser Announces Phase Two Live Entertainment Pilot

Friday, September 25, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced a pilot that will allow a limited number of venues to host live entertainment. The pilot creates an opportunity to resume live entertainment in a controlled environment that can be scaled up or down and that District officials can learn from for future guidance. The six venues that are invited to participate in the pilot include: City Winery, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Pearl Street Warehouse, The Kennedy Center, The Hamilton, and Union Stage.

Any participating venues are required to submit and execute detailed plans for operating and will be monitored closely by the District. The pilot will go through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 30. During the pilot period, the District will not be accepting waiver applications from any other venues.

In addition to the pilot, which is limited to the six venues listed above, the District is inviting operators of outdoor entertainment venues who have already submitted plans to the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency through its waiver process to review the criteria for hosting live entertainment and resubmit their plans. The organizations that have been invited to resubmit plans for outdoor entertainment include: Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Arena Stage, Busboys and Poets, Capitol Riverfront BID, District Wharf, Et Voila Restaurant, Heist Group at the Kennedy Center, and The Bullpen.

The criteria requires that venues:

  • Sell or distribute tickets in advance of the event;
  • Have a maximum of fifty (50) persons, including attendees, performers, staff, and all other persons in the venue;
  • Reserve seating with individuals or groups (of no more than six (6) persons) seated at least six (6) feet apart;
  • Place seats at least 30 ft. from the stage if there is live singing; otherwise, the seats must be placed at least 20 ft. from the stage;
  • Require that guests remain seated during the performance, only leaving as necessary;
  • Ensure good ventilation;
  • Clean the venue and restrooms in accordance with your plan;
  • Maintain a one-way flow of attendees and staff;
  • Enforce that, if indoors, the performance must be less than three (3) hours in duration;
  • Require the performers to be at least six (6) feet apart and wear masks when not performing;
  • Inform your employees of the COVID-19 protocols you have put in place, including a mask or face covering policy and any applicable leave policies;
  • Maintain records of all individuals who are in the building during the event;
  • Follow all requirements for food retail operations in the District;
  • Post signage of your mask or face covering guidelines and physical guides or signs of your social distancing policies; and
  • Inform any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to not attend the event.

When the District moved into Phase Two, venues were permitted to apply for waivers as health officials continued to monitor the District’s public health conditions. All venues in the pilot, whether hosting indoor or outdoor entertainment, will be required to strictly adhere to Phase Two health and safety guidance as outlined above.