BC Health Officials Warn Music Fans That No Concerts Have Been Approved in the Province

The sobering news comes as tickets continue to be sold for many high-profile shows
BC Health Officials Warn Music Fans That No Concerts Have Been Approved in the Province
Photo: Rick Clifford
As you've no doubt seen by now, concerts are looking to make a comeback in Canada during this COVID era. However, health officials in British Columbia are now reminding music fans that there's still no firm plan of when or how concerts will return to the province — despite multiple high-profile shows already scheduling dates in BC and selling tickets.

During a press conference yesterday (June 17), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix finally addressed the issues of large-schale concerts returning to BC, and they had some very sobering words.

"I know that many have planned these with the expectation that certain things may be in place, and I know that's something that we've been working with industry on. But none of them have been approved," Dr. Henry said.

This message from the province comes as tickets to concerts by multiple big-name acts are being sold in BC, with most shows currently scheduled for the fall and winter.

But some shows still even have dates booked in August, including Vancouver concerts by Tame Impala, Alicia Keys, Harry Styles and even Céline Dion. And as of yet, there's been no sign of any of such summer concerts being postponed or rescheduled as tickets continue to be sold.

But as Dr. Henry reminded BC residents, the province has not yet given the go-ahead for any of these shows to proceed. In fact, the province doesn't even yet know which kinds of safety measures will be in place when they do come back, and no safety plans for such concerts have even been submitted or approved.

"We have not yet determined capacity limits as we're going into the summer or into the fall, but we have signalled that they will, of course, be higher than they are now," Henry said. "Depending on how things go, we hope to get back to a sense of normalcy into the fall."

Phase 4 of the province's restart plan could start as early as September 7 if COVID number continue to decline in BC. During that phase, the province previously stated it would allow for "increased capacity on large organized gatherings," including concerts.

But like every phase in BC's reopening plan, everything depends on the numbers.

"The caveat of course being that we don't yet know what's going to happen in the next respiratory season and we may need to pull back some of the measures — at least on a local level to try to prevent transmission. So, there's big unknowns still," Henry said.

She also weighed in on the prospect of "vaccine passports," saying she's not a big fan of the idea despite the U.S. already making such requirements to attend concerts south of the border — to very mixed results.

"That's not something that I support from a public perspective. I know individual businesses and organizations are looking at that, but there are legal and other ramifications to that as well," she said.

The big takeaway from all this? Don't get too excited just yet about these fast-approaching concerts because there's a very good chance they could not happen — or at the very least, get postponed yet again for the millionth time.