Missouri Governor Lets Concerts Resume—But Cities Resist

While dance music fans around the world brace for life without festivals and shows due to COVID-19 as far out as 2021, one state in the U.S. is officially allowing concerts to resume as of this Monday. It may not be a hotbed of dance music, but Missouri is saying “yes” to concerts—with proper social distancing. 

Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s “Show Me Strong” recovery plan’s first phase begins today, and its guidelines and frequently asked questions included one on whether people can attend an event at a large venue or stadium. 

“Yes. However, seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements,” states the guideline issued April 27. “This will apply to events such as amusement parks and attractions, concerts, drive-ins, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings.”

In addition, an April 27 press release from Parson states that “there are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families.”

Parson’s plan also lets restaurants and retail stores serve customers within their premises at limited capacities. Concerts are not bound to the same occupancy limits as retail operations, but show organizers must keep attendees at least six feet apart to minimize the virus spread, a representative from the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services told Billboard on Saturday. 

Upcoming Shows

For dance music fans, the guideline presents some hope. On Monday, tickets were still on sale for Slander‘s June 4 show at the Midland theater in Kansas City.

But even with Parson’s go-ahead, that show and others may not happen because officials in big cities are opposed. Kansas City plans to relax its stay-at-home order on May 15, but large events will remain banned. On Friday, St. Louis’s mayor tweeted that the stay-at-home order will continue as the city develops its own phased approach to reopening.

Concerts In Other States

Missouri does not host any of the U.S.’s major dance music festivals. Meanwhile, Georgia—which let businesses reopen on April 24, but not concerts—has Imagine Music Festival scheduled from September 18 to 20.

Rules are more stringent in other states. California Governor Gavin Newsom put concerts in the fourth and final phase of the state’s reopening plan. He indicated that concerts would be on hold until a coronavirus vaccine or treatment is developed. 

As much as we’re missing live music, safety is important. So even in Missouri where the governor is allowing concerts, getting back on the dancefloor isn’t as simple as that.