Massive Concerts Return as Denver Lifts Outdoor Capacity Restrictions

Global Dance Festival will return in 2021.
Global Dance Festival will return in 2021. Miles Chrisinger
On June 1, the City and County of Denver announced that COVID-19 capacity restrictions at massive outdoor venues like Empower Field, Coors Field and Red Rocks have been lifted. "These venues now have no capacity limits," the city notes.

No social distancing will be required. No masks for those who are vaccinated.

As a result, bands that had been banking on filling Red Rocks gigs capped at 2,600 or 6,500 seats will have to do some heavy lifting to pack the house and prove their worth to promoters.

And indoor events with up to 2,000 people will no longer require prior approval from the city or state; venues like the Oriental, Ogden, Bluebird and Gothic theaters and the Summit can resume shows with a full house. But indoor events of 2,000-plus events will still need approval from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment; this puts some restrictions on the Fillmore Auditorium, Mission Ballroom and similarly sized venues.

The same day these new guidelines were announced, Global Dance posted to social media that the Global Dance Festival will take place on July 23 and 24 at Empower Field at Mile High, with performances by dozens of EDM acts, including Claude VonStroke, Mersiv, Kaskade, Illenium, Excision, Ecotek and many more. Tickets go on sale at noon Monday, June 7, at the Global Dance Festival website.

Other calendars are filling up, too. For example, large-scale concerts at Ball Arena are on the schedule starting in October, with Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Kane Brown and Marc Anthony in the lineup. That's a signal that the industry is ready for a full-scale return to business as usual by fall, even though Denver notes that its new requirements will be in effect only through July 1, in accordance with an updated order issued by the state on May 31.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris