Quebec to allow outdoor concerts as of this Friday, big festivals as of June 25

Large venues can welcome as many as 2,500 people as of May 28.

In a press conference this afternoon, Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy announced that outdoor concerts with assigned seating will be permitted throughout the province, regardless of zone colour designation, as of this Friday, May 21.

Masks and distancing will still be required until Aug. 31 as per the province’s reopening plan.

A week later, on May 28, large indoor or outdoor venues with assigned seating will be able to welcome as many as 2,500 people, with 250 people per section, as long as there are separate entrances and security personnel for each section. Again, public health measures will be mandatory, and while the sale of food and drink will be permitted, it will initially be sold and distributed only via roaming vendors, not from a concessions area.

Quebec to allow outdoor concerts as of this Friday, big festivals as of June 25

Among other announcements, food and drink indoors in cinemas and music venues will be allowed in yellow zones only — all regions of Quebec are expected to shift to yellow by June 14. Mandatory distancing in yellow zones will be set at 1.5 metres, down from 2 metres.

Quebec Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx specified that outdoor concerts and festivals will be allowed to have standing audiences as of June 25, with distancing aided by the type of crowd-control ground signage we’ve become accustomed to over the past year, to manage lineups at stores for example.

Proulx also noted that large Quebec festivals like the Montreal Jazz Fest will be able to accommodate multiple crowds of 2,500 simultaneously as long as they’re 500 metres apart.

This year the Jazz Fest will take place from Sept. 15–19, about three months later than its usual summer schedule.

“I am pleased to announce that festivals and artistic, cultural and recreational events will indeed be able to take place this summer in Quebec! We will finally be able to see our artists. It’s gonna do us all a lot of good.”

—Quebec Premier François Legault

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