On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced tighter restrictions on social gatherings that effectively halted the burgeoning trend of drive-in concerts.
Starting Monday, a new 10-person limit on gatherings will be imposed on counties in the third phase of the governor’s Safe Start reopening plan. The five-person limit for counties in Phase 2 — including King, Pierce and Snohomish — remains in place.
“One challenge with live entertainment is we think people are less likely to stay in their vehicles and not congregate,” Mike Faulk, the governor’s press secretary, wrote in an email. “Whether they see a movie in a theater or a parking lot, people typically stay in their seats unless they have to get up.”
The news came “with a shock” to organizers of a now-canceled drive-in music series at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Tara Shisler, a spokesperson for promoter Turnaround Artists Presents, wrote in an email that the organization had worked with the governor’s office and the Skagit County Health Department to ensure the August event series met safety guidelines.
“This is another hard hit for us and the entire entertainment industry,” Shisler wrote.