St. Louis Symphony Orchestra reopens with 300 seats

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced it will reopen for live, in-person concerts on March 26.

Powell Hall on Grand Avenue can hold nearly 2,700 people, but with the current plan in place, they will welcome back 300 guests.

“To be able to welcome people back and share the power of music, live and in person, it’s exciting for the audiences, but it’s so exciting for the musicians as well,” Vice President of Communicatons for SLSO Vicki Boutwell said.

The symphony was able to reopen in November for a short time with just 150 people in attendance. This new plan will be the first time in more than a year hundreds get to enjoy the symphony.

“It was March 13 of last year when we canceled our first concerts and like everyone we were postponing and pushing things off a couple of weeks at a time, not knowing what would happen,” Boutwell said.

The symphony has the next eight weeks planned with live concerts through May. After that, they hope to push their capacity up higher and welcome back more people to Powell Hall.

Like many venues, SLSO adapted and used digital platforms to bring the symphony home, but now Boutwell looks forward to everyone experiencing live entertainment again.

“People are craving the community of it and being able to sit with others in a symphony hall, or in a theatre or in a concert venue and to be able to experience that, while the digital videos and the digital content is great, there’s just something different about feeling the power of musicians and that music hit you physically,” she said.

Those in attendance will be required to wear a mask. The concerts will be 60-75 minutes long without an intermission. People will be assigned a specific entrance to the hall and marked chairs will show where each group sits.

“I’m really excited to have live music come back, have the arts come back,” Lauren Kellet, a St. Louis resident, said. “We’ve been so couped up that it’s going to be a new appreciation of all the great things we have in our city that maybe we didn’t realize before and now we’re going to see it again for the first time.”

SLSO was able to hold small outdoor pop-up concerts and plan to do that again as the weather gets warmer. Live entertainment is slowly but surely making its way back to St. Louis.

Live Nation, which operates Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, sent FOX 2/KPLR a statement Tuesday when asked about the return to live entertainment.

“Every sign points to beginning safely in many regions sometime this summer and scaling further from there,” said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.

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