Coronavirus restrictions on indoor crowd numbers are slowing Bendigo Venues and Events' ability to recover from the pandemic and plan for the future.
BVE sites reopened their doors this weekend with an Eric Bogle show at The Capital selling out to the restricted capacity but BVE acting manager Jacoba Kelly said figuring out what shows could go ahead required case-by-case decisions.
Currently, indoor seated venues are restricted to 50 per cent crowd capacity to a maximum of 300 people and with the one person per four square metres rule.
"(Permitted audience) numbers are still relatively low for our spaces," Ms Kelly said. "It makes it difficult for shows that have already sold out beyond those caps and makes us have to re-evaluate what can go ahead in reduced numbers, what gets postponed and what gets cancelled.
"What's been really challenging is the lack of a clear roadmap out of the current state. We're going week-by-week with no indication what next week might look like.
Ms Kelly said popular shows such as Bill Bailey and Kasey Chambers had already sold huge amounts of tickets.
"There is a lot of frustration at the moment," she said. "The desire for audiences to return is huge and is shown in great sales for forward shows like Bill Bailey and Kasey Chambers.
"Eric Bogle performed within restrictions last night and promoters are keen to see that happening (but) it is case by case. (So) there is a desire from the industry to get back, we are fielding calls every day from state, and national touring managers and international acts keen to get back out there. We just need to be open at full capacity.
"The frustration comes when you see 7000 people can go to the football in Geelong but they cant see a concert. It is a signal of the lack of support for arts and entertainment."
Ms Kelly said BVE has been fortunate to not have to cancel any shows as a result of Victoria's coronavirus restrictions.
"Where we have shows have ticket holders exceeding capacity, the preference is to find an alternate date," she said.
"We have been really to this point. Most events have been able to reschedule and find a new date."
Despite frustrations, Ms Kelly said restrictions were trending in the right direction, which gave hope to local performing groups Bendigo Theatre Company and Nexus Bendigo Youth Theatre being able to see strong audiences in July.
"While we are frustrated at capacities now, we are heading in the right direction and are working with those (local community groups) to really understand the (potential) financial impacts) if they proceed with a reduced capacity or if they have to postpone for another time."
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