ATLANTA — Catching a concert used to be a fun way to unwind on the weekend.
But live music and sporting events are expected to be some of the last activities to resume over the coronavirus shutdown because they draw large crowds, making it hard to follow social distancing.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr has uncovered some of the complicated issues that need to be addressed before we can go to concerts again.
One of the issues will be how venues have to accommodate different states and cities and their various guidelines on reopening.
Then you have to account for when people will feel comfortable getting back out there and what venues will be able to properly adjust.
From buying concert tickets, to going through security, to where you stand or sit and how you enter a bathroom -- the entire experience will be very different.
Damon Hare books bands at The Earl, an East Atlanta hot spot for rock shows.
"Most artists that we tend to work with are really -- I think definitely want to get back on stage, but they want everyone to feel safe first. So, it's going to be hard to even book shows I think for a while, even if we can open," Hare said.
So what will it take for venues to safely reopen?
Carr asked Steven Adelman, vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, who wrote a 30-page reopening guide to walk us through what concerts in this new world will be like.
"So, the first thing is there might be a lot fewer venues for you to go to. And the reason for that is the economics do not work right now for smaller venues," Adelman said.
He says you'll buy tickets online and you'll be asked what time you want to line up to enter the club so you can socially distance.
"When you get to the front of the line, you're going to have your temperature checked and you're also going to be asked questions like, 'How's your health?' 'Why are you perspiring?' Well of course you're perspiring because it's
Atlanta, and it's getting hot out, so that requires more of an inquiry to find out if you're healthy enough to enter a crowded place," Adelman said.
Once inside, you'll notice more changes to help you stay six feet away from others.
"You'll see yellow or white tape that's reflective on the floor marking out six lines in six-foot squares, and that's good," Adelman said.
He told Carr that ordering things like beers or a concert T-shirt will all be done on your cellphone, along with getting in line for the bathroom.
"You go to the restroom when your number comes up, because you'll get a push notification on your phone," Adelman said.
For those venues able to reopen, the big question is how soon will concerts start back up?
"We all want to be hopeful that it could happen later this year," Hare said.
“If I were an artist I would absolutely not put my patrons in harm's way by asking them to densely pack a stadium or arena. I would not do that until there was a vaccine or some other way of ensuring that my patrons would be healthy and safe," Adelman said.
Adelman said it will be key for concertgoers to follow the guidelines by wearing masks and keeping social distance to stay healthy and safe.
"A lot of people are going to be compliant. A lot of people won't be very excited to come back, very much, and I do think they'll want to follow it. But it's just -- it's a very hard thing to follow at the end of the day. We're all human," Hare said.
Concertgoer Christy Montero loves going to concerts in Atlanta. She said she’ll be cautious about going to concerts once they start again.
"Because what you don't want to do is just put out this message that, ‘OK guys, you know the pool’s open. Everything's OK,’ and then it turns out it's not OK," Montero said.
As for other venues in town, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena told Channel 2 Action News there are so many unknowns about reopening that they don't have anything to share yet.
We reached out to Live Nation, which runs Ameris Bank Amphitheatre and The Tabernacle, but so far we haven't heard back from them.
Ultimately this is going to be about patrons and their comfort levels in getting back out there.
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