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Seattle, Portland clubs respond as coronavirus event ban takes hold

Q nightclub
(Photo Credit: Robee Aquino)

A ban on events with over 250 people is now in effect across King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, with stringent requirements in King County for events under that 250 person threshold.

That could soon have many shows at larger venues and clubs forced to cancel or reschedule to a later date, with the ban extending through the rest of March, and possibly beyond.

“This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a Wednesday press conference. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

In King County, the new requirements for events under 250 people are:

  • Older and vulnerable individuals have been encouraged not to attend
  • Recommendations for social distancing and limiting close contact are met
  • Employees or volunteers leading an event are screened for symptoms each day
  • Proper hand washing, sanitation, and cleaning is readily available
  • Environmental cleaning guidelines are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently)

Many clubs and concert venues responded in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement, either opting to close, postpone shows, or limit their capacity.

That includes Q Nightclub, which opted to shut its doors for the rest of March.

The Tacoma Dome also announced that it is “reviewing each scheduled event due to happen during the month of March and will provide an update on new dates for these events as quickly as possible.” Tickets will be honored for these new dates, while all events scheduled after March 31 will go ahead as planned at this time.

Showbox Presents responded to the ban as well, opting to postpone all March shows in King and Pierce County. Ticketholders will be contacted directly via email with additional details.

The Underground in Pioneer Square will be canceling all events until the event ban is lifted. Ticketholders to Grum, Simon Patterson, Blessed in Bass, and Jonas Rathsman will receive a refund via Brown Paper Tickets. Canceled shows will be rescheduled “once this situation as resolved.”

Also temporarily closing in Pioneer Square will be Trinity Nightclub. The club stated on its Facebook page that it will notify the public if it has any further updates on reopening.

Down in Portland, 45 East will be shutting its doors until Oregon’s own similar event ban is lifted.

Venues and clubs opting to remaining open:

After speaking with the city and Seattle’s Office of Film and Music, Stayin’ Alive at SoDo’s Orient Express will be able to operate on Saturday with restricted capacity, while urging guests in the 60+ age range to not attend as a “self precaution.”

In Capitol Hill, Barboza and Neumos will remain open at least partially, operating under the 250-person capacity limit. That being so, the adjacent venues will be treating every show “on a case-by-case basis,” while “the majority of shows will be postponed to a later date.” A portion of its scheduled shows will occur as schedule “in a smaller capacity.” You can see the most updated list of postponed shows here.

Nectar Lounge in Fremont will remain open in a smaller capacity, capping ticket sales below the state-mandated 250-person cap. It’s also working on offering a live stream of this weekend’s shows for those unable to attend.

Also remaining open will be Belltown’s Vue Lounge. The club will be using a non-contact digital thermometer to measure the temperature of attendees. Anyone with a fever over 99.5 degrees will not be allowed entry. Hand sanitizer will also be provided prior to entry and “continuously throughout the night to all guests and staff.”

Vue will also be adding “multiple scheduled team cleans throughout the night.”

Up in British Columbia, Shambhala Music Festival — set to take place in late-July — has stated that it doesn’t expect to be hindered by the outbreak, and that it plans to continue as planned (at least for the time being).

Festivals and concerts at the Gorge Amphitheater are not included under the ban, with the venue being situated in Grant County. That said, Live Nation is canceling all touring shows scheduled across the U.S., as well as internationally.

Restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and retail establishments will not be affected by the event ban.

NOTE: We will continue to provide updates as we hear more from clubs and concert venues concerning show scheduled for the remainder of March

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