Kelsey Lu has played one of the first indoor concerts in New York City since the pandemic began, as venues had been allowed to reopen on April 2. She performed at The Shed as part of their “An Audience with…” series, the 1,280 capacity venue reduced to only 150 seats in order to comply with COVID safety measures.
The venue required attendees to show proof of either a negative COVID test, or that they had been fully vaccinated. Those who received tickets also needed to fill out a health survey prior to having access, with temperature checks at the door and mandatory masks while inside.
“When I got asked to do this it was like a no-brainer,” Lu said in a video that had been posted to The Shed’s Instagram page. “And then I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to do an opera.’ In this moment, it was a collective, a feeling of, like, I want to experience this with more than just myself.”
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According to Brooklyn Vegan, it had been requested that no photos or videos be taken throughout the concert, members showing more restraint as they were seated during the performance than what had been witnessed within the large crowds of pre-pandemic live shows and festivals.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last month that venues would be allowed to re-open at 33% capacity. Indoor venues that check for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations are allowed to have a maximum capacity of 150 people, while outdoor venues can reach a capacity of 500.
Tickets for the “An Audience with…” series had gone on sale in March, quickly selling out during a member pre-sale. Musicians who joined Lu during the performance included Alice Bacon, Alicia Hall Moran, Brandee Younger, Bryndon Cook, Christine Lyons, Lady Jess, Malcolm Parson, Maria Jeffers, Melany Watson, Ro Schwimmer, Spencer Zahn and Trace Johnson.
California also recently announced that they would allow indoor venues to re-open on April 15. Venues in the state of California will have to adhere to specific codes determined by which tier (Purple, Red, Orange or Yellow) each county is in, with those in Orange and Yellow tiers allowing more capacity than the Red tier, and Purple tier unable to have indoor performances.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz