ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Starting next month, the arts and entertainment venue will be allowed to reopen with capacity limitations.
“It is fantastic news for us in the performing arts industry," Curtis Long, president and CEO of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra said. “We have essentially been shut down completely from performing for live audiences for a long, long time.”
Since the start of the pandemic, performances have been held virtually, but will likely make a return to the Eastman Theatre in Rochester after new guidance from the governor this week.
“We’re eager for an opportunity to get back to playing for a live audience during the orchestra, either indoors or outdoors,” said Long. “The announcement yesterday allowed for the possibility for either of those things to start happening in April.”
Venues will be able to operate at 33% capacity, or up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors.
If guests test negative for COVID-19, capacity could increase up to 150 people indoors, and up to 500 people outside.
The announcement is exciting for the Comedy on the Carlson, but it’s waiting for final confirmation after a false start last year. The comedy club says it reopened briefly in the summer, but shutdown because of changes to the state guidance.
“We’re 98% sure that we can do this, we just need the okay from the liquor authority and then year we’re good to go on April 2,” Mark Ippolito, director of operations of comedy at the Carlson, said.
Right now, safety is the biggest priority for Comedy at the Carlson.
“We want people to feel safe when they come here, we want them to know that they’re safe when they come here because this is going to be, when we say go, there’s going to be a lot of people that are going to come here, they’re going to come to other venues here in the city, and that is just going to boost the economy," Ippolito added.
It will be a hopeful boost for Rochester, which is known for its arts, culture, and entertainment scene.
“As long as all of these venues and entertainment spots choose to act responsible and provide safe spaces for everything, it’s going to work out awesome,” said Ippolito.
While venues will be allowed to open next month, people will have to abide by social distancing guidelines, and face coverings are still required.