▶️ Event producers flexible with long-term plans amid continued COVID concerns

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Lay It Out Events is known for Bite of Bend, Balloons Over Bend, and Winter Fest to name a few.

Producer Aaron Switzer has started planning as if it were a normal year.

“I think you’ll see events come back in some form,” Switzer said. “I think they’ll be modified.”

Switzer is keeping in mind the pandemic could change things.

“I mean I have different floor plans and layouts and safety protocols as if we were back to normal,” Switzer said. “Or if we were restricted down to a couple hundred people being allowed in an area at the same time.”

Les Schwab Amphitheater is taking a similar approach.

“We are planning,” Marney Smith, general manager said. “I said before we had scenarios A and B but we really have A, B, and C.”

COVID ended the concert season last year before it could start, nixing shows by big name artists like Luke Bryan and Dave Matthews Band.

While some shows are already rescheduled, Smith says events at the amphitheater all depend on state and county restrictions.

“We are super hopeful that we’ll be able to actually host guests at the amphitheater,” Smith said. “Our hope is sometime in late July.”

Switzer also intends to follow state and local guidance, but is already expecting smaller crowds.

“If people are imagining full blown concerts and stages and large beer gardens,” Switzer said. “I don’t think that’s a reality for 2021.”

Worst case scenario, Smith says Brew Fest could easily be canceled with short notice.

Concerts would be a little more difficult to cancel depending on the artist.

Switzer goes by a six to eight week cancellation window.

“We’re really just going to follow the guidelines and kind of walk into the process just like we did last year,” Switzer said. “Trying to figure out what can and can’t be done.”

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