New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared that beginning in April, New York music venues will be allowed to open at 33% capacity.
The news comes after Cuomo’s previous announcement that the city’s venues would begin opening in February, with a 10% capacity and precautionary measures in place. In April, that number will increase by 23% with an additional cap of 100 people maximum for indoor venues, and 200 people for open-air venues. Should venues offer onsite COVID-19 testing, the limits increase to to 150 people for indoor venues, and 500 people for open-air venues.
Members of the New York Independent Venue Association are still concerned about the viability of establishments.
“No matter what capacity they let us go with, in clubs our size, social distancing will dictate capacity,” The Bitter End owner Paul Rizzo told Rolling Stone. “I can’t set up the room with barricades between each table, because the room will sound like crap.”
“I can’t put you at a table with four people with a plastic thing on one side,” he went on. “It’s terrible, and the whole room will sound bad. And my room is a delicate room for feedback as it is. If all the sound starts bouncing off that stuff, I don’t even know. It’s a nightmare.”
“I think for most independent, GA music venues, 100 percent is probably where you need to be [to profit],” added Michael Swier, co-founder of New York’s Bowery Ballroom.
More than 3.2 million New York residents, or 16.2% of the population, have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, with 1.7 million or 8.6% having received their second and final shot.