“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing.”  This is a given. For at least 12-24 months some sort of social distancing will have to continue or we’re going to have a second wave of this leading to complete lockdowns again. What is plausible at this point will be smaller bars or lounges with under 100 people being allowed to open slowly. What this will mean is, there are some bars and lounges around town that can immediately open in a few months and get back to business. Other nightclubs with capacities in the hundreds or thousands of people will most definitely not be able to open for a very long time.

So what are the options for the mega clubs around town? Its either open and only allow 50 people to come in or stay closed. Or a third option and come up with some sort of work around to skate the capacity limits that will be imposed for the immediate future. Concerts, festivals, sporting events, mega clubs. Anything over 50, 100, 200 (we dont yet know what the first cut off will be) will not be allowed to take place. A club with a 3,000 person capacity can probably make use of their side rooms as seperate venues, but what about the main room that fits 1,500 people? One idea could be to subdivide the space into different rooms each with a 50-200 person capacity. Something like glass partitions, limiting the interaction of people in each room to 200 at a time. Then as the limits increase from gatherings of 50 or 100 or 200 they can remove the partitions as they go along.

Another system termed the ‘EPL’ System coined by Richard D from Torontonightclub.com works much like a restaurant reservation system. Early, Peak, Late windows can be reserved at a nightclub for bottle service and admission. Partiers now have a 3 hour window in which to attend the club or book a booth. 7-10pm, 10-1am, 1-4am. “Clubs can triple their revenues on any given night while still adhering to the limits imposed by the Federal Goverment and the LLBO” says Richard D. “You’re also going to want to raise your cover charge if your capacity is limited. $50 cover, or make it bottle service only packages for groups with a higher min spend than usual”.

A message to club owners. If you’re waiting around closed at the mercy of this virus and when you’ll be allowed to open, get ahead of the game and start to build some sort of modular partition system to increase your numbers when you are allowed to open in stages with limits on gatherings in place.

One thing is for sure. It will be a very long time before you can be in a room partying with 1,000 people.

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