Safe Return Plan

The invitation to join us for a new season of concerts is always filled with excitement and anticipation, but there is no parallel in the SPCO’s history for this announcement of our return to a full season of concerts at the Ordway Concert Hall. We’ve been so pleased to be able to continue sharing music with our community via our digital Concert Library during the pandemic, and we will continue to do so next season and beyond, but we are thrilled to be together once again with our community in the Concert Hall next fall. We hope you will join us!  

The health and safety of our audience, musicians and staff will continue to be our highest priority as we return to concerts with live audiences this fall. We will continue to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health, and local requirements from the City of Saint Paul. Read on to learn more about the steps we are taking to provide the safest possible concert experience next season.   

Concerts Held Exclusively at the Ordway Concert Hall through December
For the first few months of the season, we will hold our concerts exclusively at the Ordway Concert Hall where we can provide the safest concert experience with enhanced ventilation and a professional usher staff to implement safety measures. Focusing our activity at the Ordway in the fall will also allow us to maximize the number of performances that can be livestreamed, so that those who are unable to attend concerts in person can watch them virtually. We plan to return to our Neighborhood Series venues January through June and will announce those concerts and put them on sale in the fall. Neighborhood Series subscribers — please watch for more details in the coming months.  

Capacity Limited to 50% to Allow for Distancing
At the beginning of the season, attendance will be limited to 50% of the Ordway Concert Hall capacity to allow for distancing, and to accommodate for distancing, some seating adjustments may be needed. We may open additional capacity if COVID conditions improve significantly. Six weeks before each concert, we will reseat subscribers, if needed, based on current safety guidelines, working to accommodate your seating preferences as closely as possible. Tickets will be mailed one month before each concert. We hope to return to concerts at full capacity by January, if not sooner, at which point you will be guaranteed your regular subscription seats for the remainder of your concerts.  

Ventilation Enhancements and Cleaning Practices
In preparation for welcoming audiences back into the building as safely as possible, the Ordway has upgraded its HVAC system to increase the flow of outside air and has installed high-efficiency MERV 13 air filters, per CDC guidance. It has also implemented enhanced cleaning practices throughout the building.   

Mask Policy
The CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear masks in indoor settings, so while masks will not be required at our performances without a state or city mask mandate, they will be strongly encouraged, especially for those who are not vaccinated. Masks will be required for Ordway and SPCO staff.  

Concert Length
To prevent crowds from gathering in restrooms, lobbies or concession lines, concerts will be 60-75 minutes long without intermission. 

Watch Concerts from anywhere via our free online Concert Library 
We’re excited to welcome audiences back to our live performances, but know that many in our community may not feel comfortable attending concerts in person. Those who are not comfortable or not able to attend in person can watch SPCO concerts streamed live from the Ordway Concert Hall throughout the season. We will broadcast at least seven live performances, with hopes of securing funding for an additional seven live broadcasts, for a total of 14 livestreams in the coming season. We will continue to add new on-demand content to the library, as well, and all Concert Library content will continue to be available to our community completely free of charge.  

We will continue to monitor the COVID situation and will communicate about any changes to our safety measures with as much advance notice as possible. All ticket holders will be notified of current safety protocols via email prior to each concert. Please contact our Ticket Office at 651.291.1144 or with any questions.