The Convention Center District Authority, which runs the Puerto Rico Convention Center and the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, will launch — as early as this weekend — a series of live, virtual entertainment events that people will be able to enjoy from their homes.
The events follow the approval of a special waiver by Gov. Wanda Vázquez to “reach Puerto Rican homes with an offer of live entertainment events that will be broadcast to the public through different digital media,” Convention Center District Authority Executive Director Noelia García said.
“You can’t go out, but we’ll take the ‘Choli’ [as the Coliseum is known] to your house and we will invite you to enjoy a beautiful afternoon, with a magical view, on the Convention Center’s terrace with music that will transport you and reach your soul,” García said.
“We’ll use all our energy and creativity to continue creating experiences, so that when we can return, we will have a good time together and remember that, in difficult times, we also embraced each other from a distance,” she said.
Convention Center General Manager Jorge Pérez said, “We know that the entertainment industry has one of the greatest challenges when it comes to restarting operations, but we’re also aware that for Puerto Ricans, music has always been an ideal vehicle to unite, inspire and entertain ourselves.”
Among the different alternatives that are being considered as part of the entertainment offer are open-air concerts, musical events, stand up comedies, and plays, among others.
Eduardo Cajina, general manager of the Coliseum, said hundreds of workers have been affected by the postponement of events as a result of the quarantine in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Puerto Rico.
During the virtual reopening, “artists will continue to deliver entertainment and joy to the people through their shows and will now have an experience closer to what they are used to witnessing a concert at the Choli,” Cajina said, adding event production work will follow security and prevention protocols established by the different state and federal agencies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as the Executive Advisory Committee, the government’s Medical Task Force, the Health Department of and the Centers for Disease Control.
That includes establishing alternate days and/or staggered shifts to assemble production elements such as sound, lighting, computers, and technical equipment, among others.
Finally, García said, “Among the ideas we’re considering when we get creative in the District include opening a drive-in near the ocean, holding graduations from cars, and setting up selfie spots to preserve those memories.”