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Venue Sets Stage for Live Events Best Practices Amid Pandemic

LA MIRARA, Calif. — Gallagher Staging is known for live event production so when the industry came to a halt because of the pandemic, Joey Gallagher and some colleagues came up with the idea for Social Sanctuary. The warehouse venue offers a stage for performers to sing under a spotlight while wearing a mask, and without a live crowd.

“We decided to show the industry that there was a way to get back to work,” Gallagher said. 

And eight weeks since the idea’s inception, the venue is a case study on how to have live events in a COVID-19 world.  

“We like to say we’re at a level ten of safety, so everybody is social distancing, they’re also wearing masks, some are wearing face shields,” Gallagher said. “We have our front of house system encapsulated in plexi glass.”

When someone arrives on-site they get screened, he said. They have to answer a health questionnaire and get their temperature checked.

Once approved, they can enter the venue and walk through certain passageways in specific directions. Artists also get a designated green room that’s been previously disinfected.

Gallagher said he is hoping this proof of concept could be something that live event companies like AEG or LiveNation could potentially adopt.

“We need to ensure that we can get back to work and so if we’re not at a level 10, then we’re doing the wrong thing so everything we do here is to show all the best practices that you can practice, we’re creating them,” Gallagher said.

The shows are primarily streamed online with a mixture of live DJ sets, live bands, and most recently a comedy show with audience members wearing masks and following social distancing rules.

But adding a live audience during a pandemic is tricky, even when following CDC guidelines., he said.

“And then you’re learning about, how do you

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