Dayton entertainment venues look forward to increased capacity for indoor, outdoor performances

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials with Dayton Live and Levitt Pavilion both said the state increasing audience capacity has been long-awaited. Even though the capacity is limited, they already have plans to make the best of it.

“We’re hopeful and we’re extremely optimistic,” Levitt Pavilion Executive Director Lisa Wagner said.

Live music will return to Levitt Pavilion June 12th.

“We need live music back now more than ever and we can’t wait to bring our community back together, but of course we’re focused on safety,” Wagner said.

Wagner said they’re in a good position financially to reopen this summer.

The venue will have a lineup of 40 concerts and they are now working on plans for how to keep the outdoor venue social distanced and at 30% capacity.

“It may not be the way that it was in 2019, but that’s ok, we’re still going to do it and we’re still going to have live music,” Wagner said.

Dayton Live already opened some of their seats to live audiences this winter. They’ve been limited to 15% capacity up until now.

“For the most part, we’re running maybe at 5% of what we would normally do, but we see a lot of hope on the horizon,” Dayton Live President and CEO Ty Sutton said.

While raising the capacity to 25% is a start, Sutton said struggling indoor venues are going to need more than that to survive the pandemic.

“I have to say Ohio has been very supportive in terms of dollars and that kind of support, but it’s getting time where we need to start having real conversations,” Sutton said.

Sutton said Dayton Live is planning to fully reopen their theaters in the fall.

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