ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Outside The Pageant in the Delmar Loop, the concert posters have been replaced with signs urging social distancing. The popular venue has been quiet since mid-March. But on Monday, concerts can resume in most of Missouri as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“That’s not realistic in our world from a number of angles,” said Patrick Hagin, co-owner of the Pageant and Delmar Hall.
Venues in St. Louis City and County cannot re-open at this time due to the stricter guidelines but Hagin said even when the stay-at-home order ends, he thinks it will be fall before concerts start up again at their venues.
“Just from a financial aspect alone that’s not realistic. Then you have your health and safety of your staff but also your patrons then you have public attitudes. Is the public going to buy tickets to shows at this stage?” Hagin asked.
To adhere to social distancing, Hagin said they would have to cut the crowd capacity from 2000 to below 500 at The Pageant.
It’s a similar concern in St. Peter’s. While St. Charles County will re-open along with the rest of the state on Monday, the city announced their popular summer concert series, Sunset Fridays will not be held at 370 Lakeside Park but instead will be streamed online.
“The big question is how many people could be accommodated? In order to be socially distant at this park setting, we'd have to have people spaced out and that would mean we'd only be able to have 150 people in the location, maybe fewer. And in this way we can have a great evening of entertaining while keeping everyone safe,” said Lisa Bedian with the City of St. Peters. Their Sunset Friday’s virtual concerts will kick off on May 15.
The Family Arena in St. Charles County is taking a wait-and-see approach. Tom O’Keefe said their first scheduled concert isn’t until mid-June. At this point they do not have a plan for social distancing.
“How do you tell half the people in the first 10 rows you’re not sitting there?” said O’Keefe. He believes a lot of the decision-making will be out of their hands, and in the hands of the bands.
“If Missouri says it’s okay but Illinois says it isn’t, [the bands] are going to run into these roadblocks when it’s a nationwide situation,” he explained.
At Off Broadway in south St. Louis, John Henry, the venue’s talent buyer said when shows can safely return it’s likely to be more local and regional acts.
Pokey LaFarge was set to play two nights of shows at Off Broadway in mid-May. Both have been postponed. On Instagram LaFarge posted all June dates have been postponed as well.
“It seems to us social distancing is very hard to do when your business is people showing up and paying to be in large groups,” said Henry.