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Concerts will follow CDC guidelines for masks, distancing

Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March, nothing has been more important than the health and safety of our patrons, musicians and staff. That has never wavered.

Now, as The Florida Orchestra brings the joy of live classical music back to Tampa Bay, we want to make sure our safety protocols for the concert hall are clear. Even though Florida is easing restrictions, TFO will be extra cautious and follow CDC guidelines for now, in conjunction with our partners at The Duke Energy Center for the Arts/Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

I would like to share some of the top safety measures you should know when coming to a concert (click here for more):

  • Face coverings will be required for guests, staff and musicians at all times in the Mahaffey Theater. Masks may be removed briefly to drink beverages; wind and brass musicians will remove masks to play.
  • Reserved seats will be assigned in pairs at least 6 feet apart, with a maximum audience capacity of 25 percent.
  • Entry into the concert hall will be crowd controlled with stanchions and signage.
  • Plexiglass and touchless pay systems have been installed at bar areas and concierge desk.
  • The Mahaffey Theater is implementing strict new cleaning procedures for before and between concerts, including long-lasting disinfectant spray in the theater, lobby and backstage.
  • The ventilation system meets or exceeds all federal, state and local guidelines. The system uses HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 13 combined with regular sanitization of the condenser coils.

These protocols are part of Phase 1 of TFO’s reimagined season, which opens Oct. 31-Nov. 1 with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, conducted by Michael Francis. For maximum safety and flexibility, musicians will be divided into smaller ensembles for extra spacing on stage, and all concerts will be shorter with no intermission, performed exclusively at the Mahaffey Theater. TFO also will live stream select concerts for free, for those who prefer to tune in from the comfort and safety of their living room. In November, we will announce Phase 2 concerts, which will start in January.

Tampa Bay needs music now more than ever, and we know The Florida Orchestra will be your haven for inspiration and reflection in these difficult times. A team of TFO board members, musicians and staff has worked hard so you will have no doubt that your concert experience is as safe as possible. Then you can focus on what you came for: the beauty, hope and power of live music that we all have sorely missed for months.

Thank you for your continued patience and support. We can’t wait to see you in the concert hall soon.

Mark Cantrell
President & CEO
The Florida Orchestra

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