NIVA, ESA, Others Reveal Reopening Checklist ‘Safe In Sound’

Courtesy NIVA
– Safe In Sound
NIVA and ESA shared “Safe In Sound,” a post-COVID reopening checklist, on Wednesday.

Throughout the pandemic, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and Event Safety Alliance (ESA) have provided extensive guidance for live events professionals as the industry navigated the health and safety challenges presented by the pandemic.

Now, with concerts of all sizes being announced for summer and fall, the organizations, in conjunction with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Coalition of Performing Arts Centers and National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) have developed “Safe In Sound,” a thorough guide with CDC-compliant reopening procedures tailored to the live events industry’s specific needs.

“‘Safe In Sound’ compiles expansive yet easily digestible information and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts and delivers it in a form tailored specifically for our industry,” said Sean Lynch, co-chair of NIVA’s Reopening Task Force, in a statement. “As we return to these vital social environments, we need to make sure it’s done safely and comfortably for artists, staff, and patrons alike. We can’t wait to return to work and provide the live entertainment experience so many have missed.”

The six-page document, available as a free download, covers both front-of-house and back-of-house procedures, with sections detailing air circulation, face coverings, physical distancing, temperature checks, food and beverage, health implementation, touchless experiences, routine surface cleaning, vaccinations and testing, hospitality and catering, makeup and wardrobe and backline.

“While it is always essential to meet state and local legal requirements, that is just the beginning,” said ESA vice president Steve Adelman in a statement. “Every industry professional knows it takes an enormous amount of work to make events look simple. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless challenges to safely bringing audiences back to venues, safely getting production staff back to work behind the scenes, and safely returning artists to stages. We have created industry-specific guidance to put life safety first.”

The introduction admits “there will be challenges: many people are vaccinated, but the United States has not yet achieved herd immunity; everyone owns a face covering, but convincing them to wear it requires effort; physical distancing is well known, but people want to be together after more than a year apart,” but concludes “the one non-negotiable goal is putting life safety first.”

A bevy of organizations endorsed “Safe In Sound,” including the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), the Country Music Association (CMA), the Consortium of Eastern Regional Theatres (ConsERT), the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA World), the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the Portable Sanitation Association and Reopen Every Venue Safely (REVS).

Download the “Safe In Sound” document here.