SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10)–As of Friday, performing arts and entertainment centers are able to reopen at 33% capacity. For the first time since the pandemic began, an audience is now able to listen to performances in-person here at Caffe Lena.

“I’m incredibly excited,” said Mary-Nell Bockman. “As someone who loves live music, who believes that there’s no substitute for it— you can’t do it online, you can’t zoom it, you gotta do it! You gotta be here and be here with an audience.”

While music has been streamed online during the past year, many agree, that it’s just not the same.

“It feels like a new beginning in a lot of ways, but a welcoming home for all of us, so we are really excited to be back,” stated Carolyn Shapiro, Marketing Manager at Caffe Lena.

As of today, New York State is allowing 33% capacity at performing arts and entertainment venues. They can now host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors.

“It’s 33 percent capacity, but like a lot of performing arts venues, we are playing it even a little bit safer than that,” explained Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena’s Executive Director. “Just to get everybody used to being back together.”

Caffe Lena is allowed 24 audience members and of course, mask wearing and social distancing protocols were required.

Just around the corner at Putnam Place, they too are welcoming a concert audience.

“We are now allowed to have ticketed shows and advertised shows, where as they had taken that away because they didn’t want everyone arriving at the same time,” stated Gary Sly Fox, General Manager at Putnum Place. “But they are allowing that again which is a a big thing for us.”

Another big thing— being able to stay open until 11pm instead of 10pm.


“The big joy of being in the performing arts, is really seeing performances land in people’s hearts,” said Craig. “And it’s possible in some small way to do that online, but to really feel it in a space all together is what we live for! So it’s really exciting.”