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Tanglewood Announces 2021 Season Protocol Updates

Tanglewood will increase its attendance capacity to 9,000, accommodating an approximate 50% capacity level for all performances.

Tanglewood Announces 2021 Season Protocol Updates

Following careful consideration of recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Tri-Town Health Department, and the BSO's own team of consultants, including 9Foundations, Tanglewood will increase its attendance capacity to 9,000, accommodating an approximate 50% capacity level for all performances (typical capacity is 18,000), July 9-August 31.

This is an increase over the previously announced capacity level of 25%; click here for the April 8 press release. In addition, Tanglewood will no longer require patrons to wear masks, though the festival does recommend masking and physical distancing for patrons who are unvaccinated based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

All Boston Symphony-related performances, July 9-August 16, will maintain three-foot physical distancing between patron groups seated in the Koussevitzky Music Shed by limiting capacity in the Shed to 2,400 attendees. While physical distancing will no longer be enforced on the lawn, the approximate 50% capacity will ensure ample space for voluntary physical distancing should patrons choose that option. Though the 9,000 overall capacity allowance will apply to all 2021 Popular Artist performances, there will be no capacity restrictions in the Shed (which seats 5,000) for Popular Artist performances; click here to view a press release about updates to the 2021 Popular Artist schedule.

"All of us at the BSO are delighted that we are returning to live performances at Tanglewood this summer and celebrating a new chapter that points to a post-pandemic world, where we can take part in our most treasured life experiences for the first time since March 2020.

"The Boston Symphony enthusiastically supports the new cap of 9,000 attendees for Tanglewood issued by the Tri-Town Health Department, as it will allow the orchestra to make additional tickets available for all performances, including some previously sold-out concerts, while also continuing to maintain as its highest priority the health and safety of everyone involved in the 2021 Tanglewood season-patrons, musicians, and staff. An overall 50% capacity limit also allows the BSO to continue exhibiting an abundance of caution while our audiences adjust to returning to live performances.

"Experiencing concerts this summer at Tanglewood is sure to be a poignant reminder of how deeply we cherish our extraordinary orchestra, the many outstanding guest artists-both beloved favorites and anticipated newcomers-featured throughout the summer, and the festival's exquisite grounds that have welcomed many of the world's greatest musicians, and countless music lovers, since Tanglewood's founding in 1937.

"The 2021 Tanglewood season is destined to be one for the books!"

All performances at Tanglewood this summer will take place in the Koussevitzky Music Shed and be about 80 minutes in length with no intermission as part of the festival's health and safety measures in place for summer 2021. Increased air filtration and ventilation, newly installed hand hygiene stations, and enhanced cleaning and sanitation are among the additional measures that will be in place to minimize health risks. In consideration of families with children under vaccination age, Tanglewood will not require vaccinations for entrance to the grounds. Entry to Tanglewood for patrons under age 18 is free.

The management of the BSO will continue to monitor recommendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as consult with its own advisory team and medical experts, including 9Foundations and Tri-Town Health Department, on all health and safety measures throughout the summer. The BSO remains committed to tracking all aspects of the COVID-19 virus, monitoring and following the science behind all recommended protocols and restrictions, and updating ticket buyers every step of the way; however, Tanglewood does not anticipate veering from the protocols described in this announcement unless further restrictions on capacity levels become necessary should pandemic conditions change over the coming months.

Ticket buyers will receive information and updates about Tanglewood's health and safety policies through email correspondence. The most current information about these policies and procedures will be posted at, with prompts regularly featured on the orchestra's social media platforms linking to more detailed information.

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