What Does Bangkok’s Re-Opening Mean For Performers?

July 1st 2020 marks the “complete relaxation” of restrictions in Bangkok, and effective re-opening of the city. What does this mean for entertainment venues and performers? Let’s take a look at the regulations, which are the conditions for live entertainment venues re-opening in Bangkok.

  • Hygiene standards
  • Customers must wear a face shield, or mask upon entry
  • No bottled sauces are permitted with food (small, sealed bags only)
  • All staff must wear face masks
  • Hand sanitiser must be provided in two areas
  • Toilets and touch points must be cleaned every hour
  • Venue must provide good air circulation and a ventilation system
  • A smoking area must be provided outside the venue
  • Social Distancing
  • A social distancing sign must be provided at the door, and clearly marked inside
  • There must be a one-metre gap between people, standing or sitting
  • There must be a two-metre gap between tables OR 1.5m high partition screen
  • Customers must remain at their tables and not mix with other tables
  • Screening
  • Temperature checks must be conducted at the entrance
  • Customers must check-in with Thai Chana app, or write down their name and number on paper in the case of a technical fault
  • A sticker or something must be provided to make it clear the customer has been screened
  • General
  • Venues must install CCTV and record data for one month, for inspection
  • Groups of customers limited to five
  • Customers can’t sing or dance
  • No sales promotions are allowed, which will draw out big crowds

This list presents a challenge for venue owners and performers. A distancing culture means venues will struggle to survive. In turn, performers will be competing for the few opportunities to make money in the city. On the flip side, we have to start again somewhere, and opportunities to get on stage are already popping-up around the city. Khaosan Comedy Club have announced their comeback show on their page, and they are looking to kick-start the comedy scene again.

Financial implications for venue owners are not thrilling and they will be making some grave calculations now. Nevertheless, performers will be getting hired again, and opportunities to perform will be emerging. Performers will need to stand-out more than ever, if they want to make a living from their craft. I believe there is a demand for live performance, whether it’s in a pub, club, restaurant, or even outside on a field. It’s been greatly missed, and will hopefully be welcomed back with open arms by the public.

Raw Comedy @ Live Lounge Bkk

Performing Arts venues and event organisers will be wondering how to make it all work during these times. Social distancing will hurt the live entertainment industry considerably, but we will likely see Open Mic nights popping up around the city again (they are inexpensive to put on). I’ve also seen some outdoor music events being organised like Skate for Life, which is really encouraging.

Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy – performance poetry community

Entertainment is returning in the shadows of its former glory, which makes sense as we’ve been gripped by a worldwide pandemic. Now that live performance has returned, it’s a good time for venue owners to be getting their heads together. It will require a collective effort to get people back out of their houses. There is a kinship between us all during these times – we’re going to have to pull together to emerge from this storm of storms. The Last Drop on Sukhumvit 22 has been tirelessly organising community driven events since they re-opened.

One of the biggest challenges of these times for event promoters will be regaining the confidence of the public. Events need the support of the Bangkok people. Let’s get out there and support the industry, as it re-emerges from the darkness and battles with rough new climate.

Soul Villa @ The Alliance Francais de Bangkok 2017

Who misses the magic of live performance and its ability to reach into your soul, and connect everyone in the room? I definitely do.

Notwithstanding the challenges we all face in these times, we can finally look forward supporting the Performing Arts scene again, and we should, for it needs us now, more than ever.

***All regulations listed in this article were announced by Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) ***

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