After COVID-19 shuttered most music festivals and events in Quebec, the Canadian province will now permit indoor and outdoor festivals with up to 250 people continue. The Quebec Tourism Industry made the announcement Wednesday about festivals and outlined certain restrictions still in place.
Event organizers will be responsible for capping attendance at 250, making sure people are two meters apart, maintaining entrances and exits and practicing responsible hygiene. This development comes after only 50 people were allowed in venues on Aug. 3. Rule violators could be fined up to $6,000.
In a statement, Minister of Tourism Caroline Proulx said, “This is great news for festival and event organizers as well as for workers, artists and all businesses related to this sector. Since the start of this crisis, our promoters have shown remarkable resilience and creativity. Today, we support them in restarting their activities, while ensuring everyone’s safety by means of clear guidelines. Festival and event planners are professionals in managing gatherings, and I have no doubts that this takeover will be done responsibly.”
Outdoor festivals had been banned in the province since April.
Quebec’s coronavirus caseload peaked in April and May, as did its daily deaths. At that point in time, the province saw near or over 1,000 cases per day. Quebec’s death toll exceeded 100 people multiple days. Starting in June, both rates relaxed. On Wednesday, the day of the announcement, the province reported 155 new cases and two new deaths. The province has a cumulative total of just over 60,000 cases and nearly 5,700 deaths since March.
Around the world, most festivals were canceled due to COVID-19, with very few exceptions. Retreat In My Elements, a Pennsylvania festival, occurred in July and tested attendees multiple times before their arrivals. In July, Static-X hosted July Mini Fest in Wisconsin and urged fans to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Photo Credit: April Siese