How local venues are preparing for return of concerts, events

Most Charlotte-area venues have not yet announced reopening plans.

It could be a difficult process for some of the smaller live music venues that don’t have seats or tables, which make it easier for people to maintain the proper social distance.

Joe Kuhlmann, from the Evening Muse in NoDa, said he’s considering several new safety measures at his club, such as hand sanitizer stations, temperature checks and masks.

Kuhlmann said his reopening plans will be based on feedback from his staff, patrons and guest artists, including many who travel from outside of the United States to perform there.

He also said he may try to collaborate with the city and other local, independent venues on a reopening plan and what it should look like.

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Larger venues across North Carolina – including Blumenthal Performing Arts, Spectrum Center, Bojangles’ Entertainment Complex, Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre and PNC Music Pavilion – are banding together to plan for the return of Broadway shows and concerts through the newly formed NC Live coalition.

The group is actively discussing and developing procedures to safely reopen their doors to fans.

Specific plans are still in the works but will include venue and fan experience modifications, such as cashless transactions, venue disinfection, staggered fan arrival time and temperature checks.

The coalition, which also includes representatives from facilities in Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham, said in a news release that the safety of the artists, fans and staff members is its top priority as organizers move forward to reopen the venues.

In 2019, the 18 venues represented in the coalition, which includes facilities in Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham, saw over 3.3 million patrons during more than 2,500 performances.

Kuhlmann said when plans are in place, the arts will be how people reconnect.

“We’re here to heal. We’re here to help people be a part of the healing process,” he said.