Some NYC Live Performance Venues Will Be Allowed to Reopen in April (Though How That’ll Work for Comedy Is TBD)

(via New York Times)

Some select venues throughout New York will be, starting April 2nd, permitted to resume live in-person shows with 33% capacity that goes up to 100 people maximum for indoor events and 200 people maximum for outdoor events. Also, people in attendance will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test and need to have a face covering as well as be socially distanced from each other.

So, comedy clubs/venues that are often very intimate meaning that 33% capacity will very likely not provide the revenue to make a profit or even break even. That is almost doubly true due to the incurred costs to be in compliance for COVID-19 protocol, providing PPE to staff, etc. The trajectory of the next month in regards to downtrending COVID-19 cases in tandem with the availability and distribution of any of the vaccines will be crucial.

That’s all to say that the fate of watching live stand-up inside a NYC comedy club is still very much up in the air. Until the majority of the world is inoculated, there’s a delicate balance, should any venue choose to operate right now, between safety and sustainability. There are a handful of outdoor NYC comedy shows that have been operating regardless of Gov. Cuomo or NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s mandates throughout the last several months. The regulation of those have largely been left up to the producers of the shows themselves. A collective of small NYC venues have been vocal to both Cuomo and DeBlasio about transparency with their data pointing towards any sort of reopening plan leading up to this moment.

Again, we’ll have to see what happens on both sides of this reopening of live performance in the coming weeks and months. If all goes well, it might be another blueprint for major cities around the world reopening. If not (and that very well could happen), well, New Yorkers will be back to doing what most city dwellers are doing (or should be doing anyway) and staying home.