The Nashville Symphony asks customers about COVID safety measures

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — It’s been a tough two years for players in the arts and entertainment industry as they try to bounce back during the pandemic.

The Nashville Symphony is one of them, and President and CEO Alan Valentine is asking for public input to ensure the music keeps playing.

“While we’re doing well, we also don’t have the kind of strong revenue we had before the pandemic. And of course, the Omicron push is the latest of those challenges,” Valentine said.

Valentine says that in nearly two years, the Symphony Orchestra has seen a decline of more than 20% in revenue associated with the pandemic.
He credits PPP loans and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant for helping the company stay afloat.

“Now we reacted, we didn’t lose $20 million. We reacted pretty quickly and made some very heartbreaking and difficult decisions. Stopping and canceling a season.”

Valentine says that in order to play music and perform, they need community support and input.

“What we’ve done is really kind of test where our audience is versus how they feel about coming back.”

Since the start of the pandemic, customers of the symphony orchestra have been asked what they think of the security measures put in place by the symphony orchestra.

At this time, wearing a mask is mandatory in the concert hall, along with proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours or proof of vaccination.

“For the vast majority of our audiences, these protocols are the things they feel most comfortable with and will keep them coming back to concerts. For many of the respondents who said they encouraged us to implement these protocols,” says Valentin. “Again, a lot of them, in fact, the majority of respondents said, in fact, it was a deal breaker if we didn’t implement these kinds of protocols, that they didn’t wouldn’t feel comfortable coming back.”

Valentine says there are those who oppose protocols, but he says every voice counts when it comes to keeping people safe.

“We are a non-profit institution. We depend on the community for support. is that it is very difficult to make everyone happy.”

The survey is emailed to Symphony guests and is part of a nationwide study to help arts and culture organizations make informed decisions about reopening.

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