Mayor Muriel Bowser has approved six venues to reopen under strict guidelines.

When news of the pandemic first became national headlines, live entertainment venues were one of the first businesses to close in Washington, D.C., and have remained closed since then. It is no surprise that many of these independently owned entertainment venues are now struggling to keep the lights on. While mass gatherings greater than 50 people are still prohibited in D.C. under Phase 2 reopening guidelines, D.C. officials have approved six live entertainment venues to reopen for indoor performances following a strict set of guidelines as a part of a pilot that will run until Friday, October 30.  

Here are the six live entertainment venues participating in the pilot: 

  • City Winery 
  • GALA Hispanic Theatre 
  • The Hamilton 
  • The Kennedy Center 
  • Pearl Street Warehouse 
  • Union Stage 

There are also several other live venues that Mayor Muriel Bowser is allowing to resubmit proposals to reopen for outdoor entertainment: Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), Arena Stage, Busboys & Poets, Capitol Riverfront BID, District Wharf, Et Voila Restaurant, Heist Group at the Kennedy Center, and The Bullpen at Nats Park.  


Courtesy of Reni Rhodes

Indoor Live Entertainment Guidelines

  • Tickets must be distributed/sold in advance 
  • The maximum number of people allowed in the venue at a time is 50 people to include staff, performers, attendees, etc.  
  • Group reservations can’t be more than six people with separation of at least six feet apart per reservation  
  • Performers must be six feet apart (mask required when not performing) 
  • Post signage of mask guidelines and social distancing guidelines  
  • If performances involve live singing, seats must be at least 30 feet from the stage (if no live singing, at least 20 feet from the stage) 
  • Guests must remain seated during the performances and can only leave if necessary  
  • Make sure the venue has good ventilation 
  • Have a plan in place to clean the venue and restrooms 
  • Traffic must have one-way flow of attendees and staff 
  • If indoors, performances, cannot be longer than three hours 
  • Staff/employees must understand the COVID-19 protocols the venue has put in place  
  • Keep record of everyone in the building during the event 
  • Adhere to current guidelines for food retail operations in D.C. 
  • If someone exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, ask them not to attend the event. 
  • Inform any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to not attend the event. 

To keep up-to-date with the latest reopening guidelines in Washington, D.C., be sure to visit D.C. government's official coronavirus website