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ReOpen Rationale


At present all performing arts are in Phase Four of the City & County of San Francisco’s re-opening plan. This designation seems to be based on the premise that all performing arts events are the same and confined to indoor concert facilities that have poor ventilation, limited air circulation and where all audience members must sit or stand within close proximity of each other.

This is a severe misrepresentation of the diversity of performance disciplines and venues that are prevalent in San Francisco. Not all venues or types of performance should be in Phase Four and the different types of arena and environment need to be addressed according to their own merits. This is especially the case for performances that take place out of doors, which should be allowed to recommence immediately.

Outdoor presentations of the performing arts are no more dangerous than some other permitted activities that the city has already allowed to take place.

In fact, the performing arts industry has built in mechanisms and procedures that make the act of attending a performing arts event far safer for artists, workers and members of the public than some other currently allowed activities.

Therefore we were encouraged to learn (according to multiple reports), that the Department of Public Health and the Entertainment Commission of the City and County of San Francisco are preparing to create permits for outdoor music concerts.

However the same reports also indicate that these permits will only be allowed for up to 12 people. We respectfully suggest that these parameters do not adequately address the pressing need for re-opening outdoor performing arts and urge the City to incorporate the following two steps into its current reopening plans:

  • First, the new guidelines for outdoor music should allow all performing arts to take place (except those that are subject to further restrictions due to aerosol concerns). This includes outdoor theatre, dance and circus presentations.

  • Second, the allowed audience capacity should be greater than 12. We applaud the goal of increasing the number to 50 persons by the end of September. However rather than this being a fixed figure (some can be higher, others should be less), the allowed capacity should be subject to each permit recipient’s plan for the implementation of a proven method of safe audience management through a comprehensive Box Office operation.

What can you do to ask City Government to support these two steps?
Please do AS MANY of these as you can

  • Sign our petition in support of the Two Steps HERE.

  • Send a letter to the Mayor, DPH and Your Supervisor to Support the Two Steps MORE DETAILS HERE.

  • Share via Social Media HERE.

  • SIGN UP HERE for a 9/22 2-STEP-Live-Physically-Distanced-Protest-Demonstration ZUMBA CLASS.

  • Post & Share our 2-STEP Graphic on your social media accounts for the remainder of September. Download it HERE.
  • Send a donation HERE to cover artist fees and designer costs for September 22.

San Francisco International Arts Festival
Phone Number: 415-399-9554 | Email: [email protected]
1222 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109



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