By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado’s latest phase of reopening looks promising for music lovers; the state has drafted guidance for outdoor space and the next phase of the public health order in general and outdoor concerts are part of that.

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The guidance is only a draft and which the state will finalize Thursday. Until then, it’s seeking public input on how to proceed with Protect Our Neighbors.

Specific to concerts, the guidelines would limit venue capacity for outdoor shows based on venue size, a perfect situation for at least one of Denver’s venues.

“A typical Levitt concert taps out at about 2,000 people and the capacity here is close to 12,000,” said Andy Thomas, the Associate Director of Community Outreach for Levitt Pavilion Denver.

Thomas says organizers at Levitt have been strategizing. While he doesn’t believe the new guidelines will permit anything close to 2,000, he knows concerts could safely accommodate hundreds.

“We’ve even talked about, if the number the mandate is 175 we’ll do a bunch of different concerts in shifts. We’ll bring in 175 people for an hour, they can leave, 175 people will sit down. It’s kind of common in things like comedy clubs and jazz clubs where people play for a longer period of time.”

(credit: CBS)

He says they have hand sanitizing stations available and signage. With so much space, social distancing is easy. The tricky part comes with booking shows.

“So, touring bands, national, international plans have just cancelled their tours so we can’t really plan for that right now and that’s kind of why we started to cancel shows one month at a time.”

When they get state approval to open, Thomas said they’re looking to local artists to fill the slots.

“There’s tons of great bands in Denver and we’re conceptualizing a way that we can utilize the venue and just have an all local series just because it requires less planning and less of a time frame to get that going.”

As a nonprofit, Levitt has a variety of ways it can look at operating smaller than normal crowds and still be financially stable.

(credit: CBS)

“We’ve identified some grants and basically written grants on behalf of doing a local concert series and we have finances just like everybody else, but I think to put it shortly, I think we have more options,” he continued, “finances and all those things are actualities but I do think we have a fair amount of options to be able do concerts.”

You can click here to submit feedback until June 18.

Following a review of the feedback, the state says a committee will establish scientific thresholds on how communities qualify for these different phases. It’s anticipated that the completed framework will go into effect at the end of June.

Local governments can choose to have different rules from the state in some cases through the variance application process – you can view approved variances here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/public-health-executive-orders/local-orders-variances.

LINKS: Outdoor Draft Guidance | Public Health Order Draft Guidance

Jamie Leary

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