As the Sundance Film Festival anticipates its return, it has started to enforce reduced theatre capacities, and require boosters in response to the Omicron surge. Many events are planning on returning in 2022, the festival hopes for an in-person hybrid event. With that in mind, organizers are making sure to take extra safety precautions with the latest on Omicron and hope that reducing capacity in theaters, screening rooms, and festival-sponsored events will help combat the virus.
In addition to this, no concessions will be sold or consumed during the events, and while inside the theatre venues, moviegoers will be asked to keep their masks on during all screenings.
These new guidelines for Sundance are similar to those in which were enforced by TIFF back in September. The theaters operated with reduced seating and concessions were not sold. There has not been a specific number released by Sundance as to capacity within theaters and screening rooms yet, but it will be in response to the severity of the virus, at the time in which the event is planned, running from January 20th- 30th. Even Utah theaters operating at 100% capacity and theaters screening Sundance titles will be required to adhere to the festival reduced capacity rules.
Sundance-operated non-theatre venues will also be adhering to reduced capacity rules for public programming at The Craft, The Filmmaker Lodge, The Box, and The Shop with food and beverage not permitted. Sponsored lounges will be in charge of determining their own capacity and safety requirements, however, it is likely that they will abide by the Sundance Festival’s suggested guidelines.
Sundance’s updated guidelines are not the first to occur within Hollywood and their safety measures for 2022 events come as many Hollywood events are either being postponed or canceled.
The festival already had a strict mask and vaccination policy in place and as of now, they are requiring boosters for all attendees as well (including employees, volunteers, contractors, the general public, artists, partners, press, and industry.) who are eligible and within the guidelines that the CDC recommends. There is also a negative test required to be shown upon entry into the festival. Vaccination and booster verification have to be shown before entering and each participant will be given a wristband that must be worn at all times.