WOLF TRAP, Va. — A popular Northern Virginia performance venue is making plans to possibly reopen this summer.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) announced that he would ease capacity restrictions at outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues in the commonwealth starting March 1. Those venues will be allowed to operate with up to 1,000 people or at 30% capacity, whichever is lower.
The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, in Vienna, has not had any in-person performances since mid-March 2020.
Arvind Manocha, President and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, said the governor’s decision presents the performance site with new possibilities.
“This is great news,” he said. “With the numbers coming down and vaccinations going up and the Governor's announcement this morning, it gives us a lot of hope, a lot of optimism.
WUSA9 asked Manocha whether he thought locals could see live performances at Wolf Trap in late May or early June. Manocha said it is a realistic possibility.
“Yes, I do. I do,” he said. “And with the news this morning, it really gives us a tremendous boost to move forward with some of the planning we're doing behind the scenes.”
The Filene Center at Wolf Trap has a capacity of about 7,000 people. If the governor’s order remains the same this summer, Wolf Trap could reopen with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.
Currently, performing arts venues may operate with their capacity limited to the lesser of 30% of their occupancy load or 250 attendees, according to Virginia health guidelines.
“I think, at 1000 people, we will make concerts happen,” Manocha said. “There will be music made in the National Park for the Arts this summer, for sure.”
He added Wolf Trap will still continue to provide digital offerings for locals who are uncomfortable with seeing live performances at the venue.
Wolf Trap has routinely held digitally streamed shows ever since it canceled more than 100 planned live performances at the venue last summer.
WUSA9 has reached out to Jiffy Lube Live, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Kings Dominion for reaction regarding Governor Northam’s announcement.
It has yet to hear back from those venues.
This summer Wolf Trap will celebrate its 50th anniversary, according to Manocha.
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