Hollywood Bowl to reopen with limited capacity in May, will host 4 free concerts for health care workers, first responders

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After the cancellation of the Hollywood Bowl's 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the beloved venue on Friday announced it will be reopening with limited capacity this summer.

"We are immensely grateful for the support you have shown us over the past year, whether it was by donating, keeping a credit on your account, or sharing your concert memories and words of encouragement," a news release said. "We can't wait to enjoy the experience of live music under the Southern California night sky with you again."

Based on Los Angeles County public health guidance, the Bowl will welcome back an audience of about 4,000 people when concerts resume in May, and officials anticipate ramping up to greater capacity later in the summer.

To kick off reopening, the venue will host four free concerts for health care workers, first responders, and essential workers "as a gesture of thanks for all they have done for Los Angeles throughout the pandemic."

The lineup of artists, dates, and ticketing details will be announced May 11.

"It's been incredibly painful for our incredible orchestra and those musicians, who have been silenced really for the past year and these are some of the finest musicians in the world," said L.A. Philharmonic CEO Chad Smith.

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The decision to cancel last year's concert season -- an unprecedented move in the Bowl's 98-year history -- was made "in response to the latest guidance of public health officials and in an effort to protect artists, audiences, and staff from the spread of COVID-19."

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association also canceled The Ford's 2020 season.

Once it reopens, masks will be required and attendees will be spaced out. Current regulations require concertgoers at the at the Bowl to live within 120 miles of the venue, something they'll have to verify when purchasing tickets.

One of the most popular things about the venue is being able to have a picnic. General Manager Laura Connelly said they'll still be allowed, as long as guests are eating and drinking in their seats.

Seasons at the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford are usually scheduled June through September. They are programmed by the LA Phil and feature a variety of artists, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The LA Philharmonic furloughed about 25% of its non-union workforce as a result of a roughly $80 million budget shortfall.

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