Surging cases and slow vaccine rollout raise concerns about the Tokyo Olympics 2020 | June 15 reopening announcement has California’s live venues scrambling | UK Government admits insurance is crucial to Let LIVE Thrive

Surging cases and slow vaccine rollout raise concerns about the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Wednesday marked the 100 days to go point for the Olympics slated to take place in Tokyo in July. International athletes (over 11,000 of them) from countries all over the world are expected to begin descending on the city in the coming weeks, not to mention the plethora of people it takes to run the games and broadcast it to the masses. Considering less than 1% of the population has been vaccinated, there are major concerns about the safety of holding the Games.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 rings

Especially because health and safety plans are fuzzy at best. According to CNN, international participants must have a negative test 72 hours before travel and will be tested again upon arrival, but quarantines will not be required unless potentially exposed. People coming from abroad will be provided a list of approved locations and are asked to remain in their accommodations as much as possible. Bottles of hand sanitizer and 2 masks will be doled out to volunteers and testing will be conducted intermittently throughout the duration of the Games; yet, social distancing guidelines are mysteriously missing from this list. Volunteers, doctors and the Japanese public alike are questioning how people are going to be kept safe.

A couple of weeks ago, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee announced that international spectators would be banned from visiting Japan for the games because of the surge in coronavirus cases. Nothing has improved in the weeks since and as of Monday, restrictions were tightened in Tokyo in hopes of curbing the spread. North Korea has already backed out and we’re curious to see how many other countries may decide to follow suit.

June 15 reopening announcement has California’s live venues scrambling

We’re a bit late on this one so we can relate to what the performing arts groups of California are feeling. Last week, government officials announced that live venues, including concert halls and theaters along with everything else, would be reopening on June 15 without capacity restrictions. A close eye will be kept on the vaccination efforts and continued monitoring of hospitalizations; but, barring any major concerns on either of these fronts, the plan is expected to come to pass. Nearly 25% of the adult population has been vaccinated and assuming the rollout continues as expected, California will be back in action in a mere 2 months.

pantages theater in LA

Indoor performances with limited capacity were approved from yesterday and many venue owners have already begun working tirelessly to get their doors back open. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, live performances can’t be executed at the flip of a switch; they require planning, coordination and incorporate a million moving parts. Add in the uncertainty and the additional health and safety requirements and event professionals have their work cut out for them. Full capacity doesn’t mean normal, but it certainly brings us closer to the way things used to be.

UK Government admits insurance is crucial to Let LIVE Thrive

Meanwhile, the UK has moved forward with the second stage of Boris Johnson’s roadmap according to schedule. Live events are expected to return on June 21 but without an insurance scheme, event organizers don’t have the confidence to plan. At the risk of sounding repetitive, events require a significant investment of time and money and if something doesn’t happen soon, we’re likely to see cancellations left, right and center. The UK government has conceded that insurance is necessary as evidenced by the scheme developed and underwritten by the government to cover events that are part of the Events Research Programme.

crowd at summer music festival

“Government accepts the principle that events need some sort of insurance confidence to be able to plan, to be able to take place. The challenge lots of events have had at the moment is that we’re told by government there’s a roadmap for events to be coming back from the 21st of June. Now that’s 2-3 months away; most large events take months and months and months to plan. So even though that feels like that’s a long time away, events are making decisions right now about whether or not they can go ahead.” Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music.

But hey, at least all of you in England can go to the pub and grab a beer. Have one for us. 🍺