One Longfellow Square in Portland on Tuesday joined a growing list of Maine music and arts venues requiring its audiences to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The live music venue announced Tuesday that it will require all staff, volunteers, performers and audience members to show proof of full vaccination. One Longfellow Square is reopening in October after having been closed to performances since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The venue’s management felt requiring vaccinations was an important safety precaution, given that One Longfellow Square is a relatively small space, according to the venue’s news release Tuesday. The venue seats about 185 people. Everyone inside the venue will also have to wear masks unless drinking, eating or performing, the release said.

“We feel that this policy gives us the best chance of staying open, staying healthy, and keeping our staff, patrons, and artists feeling safe,” interim director Jeff Beam wrote in an email to the Press Herald on Tuesday. “We’ve had conversations with our members and regular artists about our COVID guidelines, and the vast majority of folks have encouraged us to adopt guidelines like these.”

Several of Portland’s major music venues enacted vaccine policies this summer as a way to keep their businesses open. Most had been closed for a year or more before reopening and felt like requiring vaccination – or negative COVID-19 tests – was a way to help keep their doors open this fall as COVID cases continue to surge among unvaccinated people.

Some of the venues that now have vaccine policies in place include the State Theatre, Thompson’s Point and Portland House of Music, all in Portland. Others include The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor and Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield.

Some of the performing arts presenters that have announced vaccine policies for audiences include Maine State Music Theatre, Portland Ovations and the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

Maine music and arts presenters who work with national concert promoter Live Nation have said they will aim to enact vaccine policies by Oct. 4, the start date Live Nation has set for all shows with which it is in involved. Those include Waterfront Concerts, which books shows at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor and the Cross Insurance Arena and Merrill Auditorium in Portland, among others.

The first concert on One Longfellow Square’s schedule is a sold-out Oct. 8 show by folk singer and Maine resident Jonathan Edwards, best-known for his 1970s hit “Sunshine.” Other upcoming shows including Patty Larkin Oct. 9, Jonatha Brooke Oct. 10, Johnny A. Oct. 14 and Robyn Hitchcock Oct. 20. Shows through Dec. 16 are listed on the venue’s website.

Refunds are available for people who purchased tickets before the vaccination policy was announced and can’t or choose not to comply.


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