It’s slowly getting back to the old normal, with concerts slated to return to Saskatoon this fall; but in the next six months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, can shows really go back to how they were?
This will be the first big show at SaskTel Centre since the pandemic hit.
“Everybody should be vaccinated by the end of June, so the promoter is very optimistic that this is a good time to introduce a concert in the fall,” explained the venue’s executive director Scott Ford.
While it’s unclear what things will look like in October, Ford said SaskTel Centre will be following guidelines from Health Canada and the province.
That could include cleaning venues more or requiring masks, but it is still up in the air.
Ford told Global News the venue is considering requiring vaccine passports to enter, but it’s watching to see what others in the industry do.
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“If everybody’s vaccinated it’ll be just like you’re going to any show,” Ford said. “Eventually things will get back to normal.”
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SaskTel Centre isn’t the only concert host tentatively planning for October shows in the city; the Coors Event Centre has four concerts slatted for late October and early November on its website.
Tourism Saskatoon said operators are itching to restart shows in the coming months, but they’re prioritizing staff and patrons’ safety.
“[Businesses] are really just looking to be as safe as possible and also be able to provide their experience at the highest level possible,” said Sarah Berger, the tourism agency’s director of marketing and communications.
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Kelly Tinkler is a fan of Eric Church. He said it’s about time concerts start back up.
“Let’s just chill and you know, let’s get back to reality,” he said. “Let’s do things we did before.”
Others tell Global News they aren’t as optimistic about going to a show six months from now.
“If they can do it safely, I’m all for it, but doing it safely right now is kind of a tricky thing,” said Travis Ritchie. “Better to be safe than sorry. Better to wait for the vaccines to roll out a little more.”
Tourism Saskatoon said if everyone — organizers and concertgoers — are cautious things will eventually be able to get back to normal.
Ford said if there were a surge in cases or something else changed in Saskatoon, then the concert would likely be rescheduled.