Posted: Jun 15, 2020
Category: Live Performance
**Guest post by Kristen Ford, Nashville based indie rock act with a passion for music business and a book on DIY touring in the works, featuring members of the health, scientific and musical communities of Nashville.
Until we have a vaccine, have increased testing capacity and learn more about antibody testing and if having the Coronavirus antibodies in your system means you cannot contract the Covid-19, we must move forward in a "new normal" environment.
1. 10 foot barrier/marking around the stage. Singers won't be wearing masks, so a 10 foot minimum protects the audience from being sprayed with saliva. Singers should provide their own microphone.
2. A low key, possibly private load in/load out situation or a staff member to help with crowd control so performers don’t have to plow through a crowd of people to enter/exit the venue.
3. Either a private bathroom or limited capacity using the same toilets/confined space.
4. Cleaning of the performance area between performers, ventilation as much as possible.
5. Audience safety. We would hate to play an overcrowded event and have a bunch of people get sick. Venues should be following the current city/state/CDC guidelines.
The following points were raised by musicians from Nashville, disease specialists at Vanderbilt University, Doctors, and Nurses within the medical community...
- Audience physical accessibility to artists/musicians. Not only were there concerns voiced about the crowd’s accessibility to musicians, but audience members right up front under a vocalist. Sometimes when singing or speaking, vocalists/MC's/band directors may produce saliva (a.k.a spit).
Suggestion: Setup some type of physical barriers between the stage and audience.
-Keeping a healthy distance while working the crowd for tips in bar and restaurant settings.
Suggestion: Before going into the crowd to work the tip jar, make an announcement on stage. Incorporate funny/friendly/fair verbiage into your set letting the crowd know you are entering the audience but would like to keep a safe social distance while doing so. Put on a mask if it increases comfort. Utilize digital options for tipping like Venmo, CashApp, etc. Post a sign on stage with the info and reference it throughout your set.
-The ability to set up, soundcheck, and tear down while keeping a healthy distance from audience members
Suggestion: Inquire about designated entrances/exits for artists/musicians and physical barriers between the audience and stage. Consider bringing a change of clothes, putting on a ball cap, or a mask to reduce the appearance of being approachable when not playing.
-Reducing the risk of cross-contamination between work and home
Suggestion: Remove shoes, clothing, backpacks/bags, and gear as soon as you arrive home in a designated area. Do not move these items anywhere else in your home without cleaning/disinfecting first. Also, keep sanitizer, wipes, or hand soap in your bag at all times. Hand washing is so important to stay healthy.
The bottom line, there is no way to return to a public situation without some increased risk. If you have underlying health conditions, you may want to wait on performing. However, with some preparation of safety and increased cleaning measures, good communication between the venue, your bandmates and live music fans, we can get back out there to perform, hear live music and live our lives again.
Albeit in the "new normal".
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