What could events at Blaisdell look like when it reopens?

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Neal S. Blaisdell Center is one of the major entertainment venues of Hawaii, often holding, concerts and events. The City and County of Hawaii hasn’t announced when it may be reopened, but when events do return, they may be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Made in Hawaii Festival recently announced that it won’t be happening in August. However, there are still many events in the fall that are still on and are preparing.

One of these events is the Annual Fall Food and New Product Show in October. Last year, hundreds of people and vendors packed the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

Jas Pascua is one of the producers behind the event.

“It’s hard to have social distancing when people want to come out and taste food, interact with the vendors, I’m not really sure how it’s going to pan out,” said Pascua, Pacific Expos event producer.

He said they are waiting to hear from the Governor David Ige and the Blaisdell on what can and can’t be allowed, but they are also taking a look nation-wide.

“Most definitely we’ll be looking at other expos and how they’re implementing and again we want to see how the attendees are engaging with their people,” said Pascua.

However, he does have some idea of how they implement social distancing if it continues into the fall.

“Masks would probably be something that we would implement at these shows.,” said Pascua. “Rather (than) having 250 vendors in the exhibition center, condensed in that hall, maybe spread it out to the arena so that the whole 250 vendors could be split into two?”

As for events at the concert hall, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra said they are currently figuring out what seating could look like with social distancing.

“We’re looking at seating plans where people who, from the same household will obviously be able to sit with each other and then leaving the appropriate 6-feet distance between parties,” said Dave Moss, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra executive director.

Social distancing would also extend to the stage.

“Our orchestra at our full Arsenal is 88 players, and that’s a lot of people in a small space, so figuring out how many people safely fit on the stage and what repertoire works with that,” said Moss.

He said they are also thinking about going digital with digital tickets and a digital program on the phone.

“You know text messages on your phones when you arrive, or something like that. ‘Welcome to the symphony. Welcome to the HSO, hope you’re having a good time,” said Moss.

The City and County of Honolulu has not said yet whether it has any new guidelines for future events.

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