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L.A. Mayor Says No Concerts or Sports Likely Until 2021

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has said that it’s quite possible no concerts or sporting events will take place in the city until 2021, joining the growing chorus of high-profile officials, including California governor Gavin Newsom and healthcare expert Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who say large gatherings in the U.S. are very unlikely to resume any time soon.

The Los Angeles Times reviewed an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email which summarized a Monday phone call between Garcetti, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and others, in which the mayor was quoted as saying “large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events may not be approved in the city for at least one year.”

Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders clarified on Tuesday that Terrazas was “paraphrasing information he received from the mayor regarding possible scenarios for reopening timelines across a range of events.”

Alex Comisar, a spokeman for Garcetti, confirmed the mayor’s comments, explaining, “The mayor was generally referencing studies of current and historical data and best practices for safely reopening our economy.”

The email also summarized Garcetti’s plans for reopening the city’s economy gradually, starting with “essential businesses and small businesses … phased in over a period of time (6-10 months).” Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a UCLA medical epidemiologist and infectious disease expert, believes that could begin happening in the middle of June or sometime in July.

Earlier today, Governor Newsom explained that the likelihood of concerts and sporting events taking place this summer in California was low, saying:

“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine. So large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers, all together across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations.”

Dr. Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, said earlier this week on a panel for The New York Times:

“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.

“Restaurants where you can space tables out, maybe sooner. In Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, we’re seeing resurgences when they open up and allow more activity. It’s going to be this roller coaster, up and down. The question is: When it goes up, can we do better testing and contact tracing so that we can focus on particular people and isolate them and not have to reimpose shelter-in-place for everyone as we did before?”

Los Angeles is one of the biggest markets in the U.S., and it stands to reason that if no concerts or sporting events can take place there, it’s going to be difficult for nationwide tours or major league sports to take place anywhere in the country.

We will, of course, keep you all updated on the situation as it affects touring in the metal world. For now, you can keep up to date with our running list of coronavirus-related tour cancelations, postponements and rescheduled dates right here.

Thanks: Brian Storm

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