Masks must be worn, but live art and entertainment events coming back to Utah at greater capacity this summer

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 ) – Utahns will see a ‘new normalcy’ as venues, fairs, and festivals open at greater capacity this summer.

“I’ve missed humanity, I’m sure you have too. And I am so excited to be able to experience the magic of the live festival experience again this year,” said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, the Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA) executive director.

UCA has found that consumer confidence is increasing; a survey they conducted found Utahns are anxious and excited to return to venues statewide, and most feel safe returning to outdoor locations.

“Starting with the Pride Festival in June – it does look a little different than it has in the past, but it is happening. In August, you’ll see a lot more normalcy. You’ll see the Utah Arts Festival, Urban Arts Festival, Craft Lake City,” Young-Otterstrom said.

Event grounds remained quite Monday, but soon they’ll be welcoming guests to their occasions.

“USANA is opening, Red Butte is opening. You’re going to be able to see all the acts and shows you missed last year,” she said.

Throughout the summer, Young-Otterstrom said the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Tuachan Festival, and the Moab Music Festival are safely putting together full seasons.

She said more people will be allowed at venues compared to last year. As of Monday, masks are still required at events with 50 or more people.

“We want you there, and we want you there safely. We need you there in your mask,” Young-Otterstrom said.

Metrics for House Bill 294’s the ‘Endgame’ Bill is expected to be met by early summer, Young-Otterstrom said statewide guidelines will go away, and local health districts will decide what’s next.

“It’ll be different rules perhaps in different counties around the state,” she said.

Young-Otterstrom said to make sure you know the rules before going to an event.

“We’re all trying to do our best here, to still entertain and move you and hope that you can experience these things again, but also keep everybody safe,” she said.

Last year, Utah’s entertainment industry took a $75 million hit, costing 25,000 Utahns their job.

“Seeing this return in greater normalcy not only means a return to humanity and living for me and I hope for all of you, but it also means that my businesses in my industry can survive – that they can pay their bills and that their employees can pay their rent,” Young-Otterstrom said.

Upcoming events are posted on nowplayingutah.com.

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