Concerts in Missouri Can Return on Monday
Despite the number of coronavirus cases still peaking and the death rate at near heights, Missouri Governor Mike Parson will allow concerts to be held in the state starting this coming Monday, May 4.
The initiative is part of the governor’s “Show Me Strong” recovery plan announced on April 27, which allows for retail operations, restaurants, sporting events and concerts to conduct business as long as “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements.”
A representative from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services told Billboard that “event organizers are expected to keep concertgoers six feet or more apart to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.”
Despite the lift of the ban, the state’s largest cities will keep local ordinances in place that ban live events. Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, the state’s largest city, will not be allowing venues to open and will continue to require its citizens to stay home until further notice. The state’s second and third largest cities, Kansas City and Springfield, will also keep local stay-at-home ordinances in effect. Billboard notes that even in Columbia, in which venues are allowed to open, The Blue Note is keeping its doors shut in favor of a live-streamed benefit concert on May 15.
Still, permission to hold concerts should alarm those concerned about a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths as the U.S. economy begins to reopen.
Health experts have previously estimated that live concerts and sporting events should not return in the U.S. until fall 2021, when either a vaccine, an effective treatment(s) and/or herd immunity have been realized.
Hundreds of tours have already been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus, although a number of big name summer concerts haven’t been called off yet.
Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe recently explained that he doesn’t believe social distancing will work when it comes to metal shows:
“I don’t know if there will be shows until we can have shows normally – in general, for anyone. Because I don’t think… let’s be realistic, let’s be 100% realistic. I don’t think a bunch of metalheads or punk-rock kids or hardcore kids – when they all go to a show – if there’s gonna be social-distancing. Any band starts playing, that social distancing shit’s gonna go out the window. It’s like, ‘It’s time to mosh, motherfucker!’, you know what I mean? That’s not gonna work for us, bro, that’s just not gonna work. Can you imagine how weird it would be?
“I remember seeing Testament and Slayer in like, fuck, maybe ’90, I think it was – ’90 or ’91, they were on tour together, and they played this venue in Richmond called The Mosque, and it was all seated. It’s this beautiful theater and it’s all seated. And I was like, ‘This is not gonna work, man.’ And sure enough – they had security guards going up in the aisles and trying to keep it calm. But nah, man – chairs got fucked up.
“That’s not how you do it. And what am I gonna say to the audience? ‘Everybody, stand really still! Don’t touch anyone!… This next song is called ‘Walk With Me in Hell.’ Two meters, please.’ It’s not gonna work for Lamb of God, bro. I think it would be a mistake to try and have a fucking metal show and space restrictions. What the fuck, man? That just wouldn’t do, wouldn’t do at all.
“Another thing that fans need to remember is: this isn’t our decision. And it varies state to state, province to province, municipality to municipality; local governments have different rules. Everybody thinks that, well, we can just go on tour, and this is how we’re gonna do it. No, man. We have to be granted a license to play a show.”