NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WLNE) — Summer on Block Island hasn’t gone the way most were hoping, with over-crowding and moped accidents overshadowing the prime tourism months.
But many bars, restaurants, and hotels are now breathing a collective sigh of relief, as the New Shoreham town council voted 4-0 in favor of lifting their suspension of outdoor entertainment licenses.
The council suspended outdoor entertainment last week, after several instances of over-crowding and people not wearing masks around town.
Councilor Ken Lacoste was the lone vote against the suspension at the time.
“It definitely was hitting a little bit too far off field from where it was intended,” Lacoste explained.
The council decided to lift the suspension Wednesday night, after feeling pressure from several venues, some of which even filed a lawsuit against the town for the suspension.
A judge dismissed the suit Monday, but the council still decided to revert their action.
The council set new entertainment restrictions for venues, including a 9pm curfew and a limit on the number of entertainers performing at one time.
The idea allows for a singer, guitarist, or pianist to play outdoors to a small crowd, but eliminates the possibility of having a band perform a concert for a larger crowd.
Social distancing measures and facemasks are still required at every venue on the island.
Block Island has 25 venues that have entertainment licenses. Only 7 of those venues are currently utilizing them.