After reading that the Teton Valley Foundation is still considering hosting Music on Main this summer, I need to speak out. As a live music lover and a pretty sociable person, I have attended nearly every Music on Main concert since 2013. However, as an engineer, I can’t imagine how these concerts could be hosted in a responsible manner in light of the pandemic that is not over.
The executive director of TVF says, “Given that Music on Main is one of the largest events in Teton Valley each summer, we have a huge responsibility for the health and safety of our community.”
Let’s take that a step farther. The City Park (without the parking Lot for Port-a Potties) is about an acre according to City Staff. If a person needs 113 square feet to be socially responsible and be at 6 feet apart, that means only about 385 people should attend this event. Maybe 750 people if a couple that lives together stays within their socially responsible space. Given that 2000 has become a “small crowd” at Music on Main, how can that work? Let’s don’t even go into how to serve beer or food, use the restroom, stand in line to enter or exit, dance, have id’s checked, buy tokens. etc.
Additionally, the concerts will not only affect the people who attend them, but are a threat to all who live here. These are regional events which many people (and tourists) from Jackson, Idaho Falls and other surrounding communities attend. After leaving the community, they leave behind the threat of possible infection which in turn ends up in the grocery stores, post offices, hardware stores and ultimately in our health care facilities. Is that TVF being responsible “for the health and safety of our community”?
If the concerts are not held, people that normally go could donate anyway for the safety factor in not being exposed unnecessarily. I for one would pledge to double my normal donation for each of the concerts. The “healing power of music” is a wonderful thing, but just for this summer, could we recognize that 1,500+ people in a place that would socially responsibly hold maybe 500, is not the right thing to do? Please revisit this decision and continue the great job Valley residents have done so far and not contribute to an outbreak here.