New Orleans is expanding its COVID outdoor dining program, but what about live music?


The city of New Orleans has announcement an extension of its pilot program of temporary parking and outdoor dining, launched a year ago, effectively waiving the associated permit fees for restaurants and bars until December 31, 2021. But as a program of the COVID era intended to support the city’s hospitality industry is prolonged, the timeline of another remains unclear: the temporary permit rules that have allowed live outdoor music in New Orleans throughout the year. ‘last year.

The New Orleans Outdoor Dining Program was initially launched as a month-long pilot project in October 2020, allowing restaurants in designated areas to expand their outdoor seating into public parking spaces in the area. street, no permit fees. The city noted he would use the pilot project to inform a long-term program of restoration and curbside parking permits – something that he says is still ongoing – identified as part of a broader vision of “using the right pass to better support business and other initiatives around the city. “The pilot has been extended several times since last year; the latest extension indicates that the fees will continue to be waived until the end of the year “while the city continues to develop a permanent parking program.” At the time of the launch, the city noted that when the long-term program begins, park locations will need to be ADA compliant.

Also at the start of the pandemic, the city lifted restrictions on outdoor entertainment for many businesses and suspended fees and limitations for special event permits, which are required to host outdoor music in the city. outside the French Quarter. But unlike alfresco dining, the future of these temporary rules – which helped create a thriving outdoor music scene at a crucial time for local musicians and led to the creation of a number of venues. outdoor concert – is uncertain. According to reports from Lens, unless New Orleans City Council takes action, many outdoor venues are expected to stop hosting live music once Mayor LaToya Cantrell declares an emergency on. the coronavirus ended.

The uncertainty calls into question the future of a number of businesses and leaves many wondering what will happen to live music outdoors (outside the French Quarter, that is) when the rules of the COVID era will end. The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MaCCNO) is leading the charge to keep this issue at the forefront, in addition to the myriad of ways it is working to support New Orleans’ music and cultural community, recommending that patrons outdoor music to contact their council member or mayor office to indicate their support.

For more on MaCCNO on the murky future of outdoor live music in New Orleans, click here.


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