There won't be any more chili-cheese dog concerts in New York State for the forseeable future, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has updated the state's coronavirus guidelines to ban any ticketed live music events at bars and restaurants.
Syracuse.com reports that the new rule prevents bars from " offering live music that customers pay for separately." Bars with cover charges are also seemingly barred. Venues can no longer advertise live entertainment. "Incidental" live music is allowed, as long as it is not the main attraction of the restaurant or bar.
The rules were posted in Q&A format on the State Liquor Authority web site. The full ruling reads:
Restaurants and other on premises food and beverage establishments that have a license through the SLA are only allowed to offer on-premise music if their license certificate specifically allows for such activity (i.e., live music, DJ, recorded, etc.). A manufacturer that has an on premises license also must assure that its on premises license certificate specifically allows for the type of music it is offering. A manufacturer without a separate on premises license may offer music unless its license certificate specifically prohibits such music.
If offering music, indoors or out, all relevant aspects of the respective Department of Health guidance dining must be followed, e.g., patrons should not be standing except for necessary reasons (e.g., restroom, entering/exiting), standing patrons should wear face coverings, etc. Performers should be at least 12 feet from patrons.
All other forms of live entertainment, such as exotic dancing, comedy shows, karaoke etc., are not permissible currently regardless of phase.
Additionally, please note that only incidental music is permissible at this time. This means that advertised and/or ticketed shows are not permissible. Music should be incidental to the dining experience and not the draw itself.
The ruling is supposed to aid in preventing congregating in public spaces. Local officials want people to eat and get the heck outta there.
As other states reopen, and even have concerts, it seems New York State might be one of the last ones to allow such events as long as coronavirus is still prevalent. States like Tennessee, North Dakota and South Dakota are already actively running shows.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters and festivals across the nation. Or as you know it, the Save Our Stages Act. Since the pandemic shutdowns began in March, music venues, comedy clubs, and festivals have been shuttered with no revenue, high overhead and no timeline for when they can fully reopen. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said that if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no meaningful federal assistance, 90% of its members would be forced to fold forever.