Safe in Sound: A Reopening Checklist for the Live Entertainment Industry

May 14 2021

As people in the U.S. continue to get vaccinated and cities and states begin to reopen, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and Event Safety Alliance (ESA), in partnership with Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Coalition of Performing Arts Centers, and National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) have joined together to research, create and present “Safe In Sound,” a free reopening checklist for the live entertainment industry. This toolkit was developed after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and based on the most up-to-date guidance and resources available at Guidance for COVID-19 | CDC. It serves as the framework for venues and promoters to reopen fully as safely as possible.

“‘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. “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 checklist addresses every major issue involved in producing a safe live event, both front of house and back of house.

“While it is always essential to meet state and local legal requirements, that is just the beginning,” said Steven Adelman, Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance. “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.”

Download the Reopening Checklist here (free)

About NIVA

Formed at the onset of the COVID-19 shutdown, National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), represents more than 3,000 members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. NIVA created and led the #SaveOurStages campaign, resulting in landmark legislation establishing the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program administered by the Small Business Administration. NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live venues, promoters and festivals throughout the United States. The National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) was founded to further this mission by also seeking to support a transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers. NIVA is committed to equity in its support and advocacy for independent venues, and seeks to create and encourage opportunities for venues, promoters, and festivals owned, operated, and staffed by people of color, women, non-binary, LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities.

About ESA

The Event Safety Alliance is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade organization dedicated to promoting “life safety first” during all phases of live event production. Formed in 2012 following the Indiana State Fair stage roof collapse, ESA represents thousands of individual members and organizations worldwide. ESA’s publications include the 2014 Event Safety Guide, the 2020 Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, one of the first efforts to identify the health risks and risk mitigation measures at the outset of the pandemic, as well as ANSI standards for Crowd Management and Weather Preparedness, among others.