Musicians, theater fans and others were excited a few weeks ago when the state announced that live theater, concerts and other events could resume with restrictions on April 15.

Fans who took a walk in the park at Petco Park in the park on Wednesday probably thought they were getting a taste of things to come as the South Bay POD went heavy for three sets all afternoon. Unfortunately the gig was a live stream event and not open to the public. The next one anyone got was the fence along J Street.

Thursday, when the big day came, didn’t see a widespread reopening of live performances in San Diego. Why?

NBC 7 interviewed a group of local club owners and largely agreed that the reopening policies were simply too restrictive to be cost-effective. So what is allowed?

Orange animal: Indoor Seated Live Events

  • Smaller venues: 15% capacity limit
  • Larger venues: 10% capacity limit
  • 25% if all guests are vaccinated or tested
  • For in-state visitors only
  • All tickets are delivered digitally and only purchased in advance
  • Pre-designated dining area (no seated eating / drinking allowed) – 6 feet apart.
  • Suites 35% capacity, maximum three households

Orange Tier: Live outdoor events

  • Max 33%, includes suites with 25% occupancy per suite
  • For in-state visitors only
  • Max. 67% if all guests have been tested or provide evidence of full vaccination

Yellow level: indoor live events

  • Smaller venues: 25% maximum or 300 people
  • 50% of capacity if all guests have been tested or provide evidence of full vaccination
  • For in-state visitors only
  • All tickets are delivered digitally and only purchased in advance
  • Pre-designated dining area (no seated eating / drinking allowed) – 6 feet apart
  • Suites 25% capacity, maximum three households

Yellow Level: Live outdoor events

  • Max 67%, includes suites with 25% occupancy per suite
  • Outdoor private event: Maximum 100 people
  • For in-state visitors only
  • Primarily seat concessions (no concourse sales)

A quick look at the San Diego club’s websites provides little evidence of live music, although a few shows do show up. For example, there’s a weekly outdoor show at the Meshuggah Shack in Mission Hills on Sunday afternoons, and upstairs in Oceanside at the Pourhouse there’s the Surrealist ($ 15!) On Thursday nights. Even so, nothing happens in the Casbah (which recently reopened for dinner, but not in the main room), the Soda Bar, the Belly Up or the Music Box. And if you’ve been thinking about concerts, things move very slowly on site. Live Nation, which operates the Viejas Arena at SDSU and the amphitheater in South Bay, as well as the observatory in North Park and the House of Blues, has nothing on the books for April.

After a 13-month shutdown, Casbah’s main owner Tim Mays, who also has the Starlite restaurant and Krakatoa café in his portfolio, took NBC 7 on a quick tour of the legendary Kettner Boulevard club before reopening on Friday night.

For other performing arts, things may open up faster, but it doesn’t seem likely. The theaters also have to pay operating and labor costs as well as license fees for playwrights. A quick online review of the San Deigo theaters revealed another serene landscape. Dance troupes may be best positioned to resume live performances as their operating costs are likely to be lower and they may not incur music and other license fees for staging original content. However, no performances were easy to find on local operator websites.

Of course, all of these restrictions will go away on June 15, when California Governor Gavin Newsom fully reopens the state, as he said, if the state continues to trend toward fewer virus cases and more vaccines administered. However, this decision depends on adequate vaccine supply and a low and stable hospital stay rate.

While most of the capacity limits would be removed, large-scale indoor events such as B. Conventions, only with testing or vaccination requirements will be allowed, said Mark Ghaly, secretary for California’s health and human resources agency, in early April.