Phase 2 guidelines concerning live music at bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the state have been updated.
When Phase 2 began, indoor live entertainment, which included but was not limited to bands and karaoke, was not authorized. This limitation did not apply to disc jockeys or music played via speaker system.
Disc jockeys or music played via speaker system are permitted.
As of June 12, new guidance was released saying that indoor live entertainment may now be considered but businesses will have to submit a written request.
The change effects businesses such as restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, nightclubs, and microbreweries according to the guidance.
The OpenSafely.La.gov website states that indoor live entertainment, which includes but is not limited to bands and karaoke, may be considered by submitting a written request to address the following:
- The HVAC system must provide a minimum of 6 air changes per hour (ACH) within the space occupied by the audience and performers. Documentation shall be provided to identify the CFM's for the air handling unit(s) serving the space and the cubic footage of the space served.
- A minimum 12 feet of separation shall be provided between the performers and attendees.
- Provide at least one of the following additional mitigation measures:
§ In-duct UV-C light system placed in supply side, ahead of any branch connections, or in the return side of each air handling system serving the space.§ Direct air flow towards the performers and away from the attendees at a minimum rate of 2,000 CFM.
§ An independent HVAC system dedicated exclusively for the performance area.
- Each performer must follow the social distancing guidelines.
- Management shall offer face coverings and temperature checks to attendees.
Requests are to be emailed to SFMDispatch@gmail.com for review by the Office of State Fire Marshal and the Louisiana Department of Health. They say a response should be returned in about 2 business days.
The original guidelines were questioned by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry following a letter from Lafayette Mayor President Josh Guillory. Guillory sought clarification on the Phase Two guidelines regarding live music indoors.
Landry sent a letter to State Fire Marshal H. "Butch" Browning, Jr. Friday June 5, questioning the regulations that "appear to treat similarly situated performers and venues differently."
Landry referenced the guarantee of equal protection under the Louisiana constitution, mandating that all state laws affect alike all persons and interests similarly situated. Read more here
KATC reached out to the governor's office for comment following the release of that opinion. The governor's office, responded at the time, saying "we are looking at ways to allow live music to return, based on research and best practices in other areas, states and countries, which could be reflected in future guidance we issue."
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