The Mashpee Board of Health has advised Mashpee Commons business owners that a live music event proposed at the bandstand in the Commons likely would not meet state guidelines for large outdoor gatherings during the pandemic.
The proposed event, discussed by remote conferencing at the board’s July 16 meeting, would have had the local band Retro Roots perform at the bandstand from 6:30 to 9:30 PM tomorrow, with a rain date of Friday, July 31.
“We got together with some business owners here, and we wanted to create a safe and health-conscious event for businesses here at Mashpee Commons,” said Chad Yates, who presented the event plans for feedback from the board.
The board declined to give its “blessing” for the event and noted that only the Mashpee Board of Selectmen could give permission for the event. The health board’s role is “merely advisory,” Assistant Health Agent Caitlin Gardipe said.
Mr. Yates of McNamara & Yates PC, a legal firm based in the Commons, outlined the safety plans for the event in a letter to the board.
The band would be 25 feet from the first row of the audience, the letter said. On the grassy area in front of the stage, eight-foot circles spaced six feet apart would be drawn to ensure social distancing. Attendees’ temperatures would be checked, hand sanitizer would be provided and masks would be required.
The event would include no food, drinks or alcohol, Mr. Yates said, and the organizers planned to obtain an insurance policy.
“Based on what has been presented to us so far, we’re not sure that this event, this type of event, is even allowed under the current gatherings guidance,” Ms. Gardipe said.
She asked whether the event would include reservations or ticketing. Mr. Yates said those measures would not be included, as it was envisioned as a free event.
“If it doesn’t have any sort of reservations or ticketing of any kind where people come in, sit down, watch the performance and then leave, then it’s more—it falls under a festival or a large outdoor gathering, sort of like outdoor recreational activity that is organized, which is considered a prohibited activity,” Ms. Gardipe said.
“For me it’s all about sort of tight control of people coming and going to ensure the separation and to sort of head off any unanticipated issues of people gathering outside of your control space,” board member Brian Baumgaertel said. “I would just be concerned that if it were maybe too successful you would maybe have a situation where you might not be able to control the people who are looking to come to the event or leave.”
Mr. Yates said, “I would be happy if 20 people showed up; it’s probably going to be on that level.”
“We’re not as a board approving anything, but the selectmen are definitely going to look to us to provide at least a blessing for this before they would be looking to approve it,” Mr. Baumgaertel said.