UMS sets health and safety measures for Fall 2021

ANN ARBOR – The University Musical Society (UMS) announced new health and safety measures for audience members attending its live, in-person events in indoor venues through December 2021. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, in order to attend UMS indoor performances. This includes children under the age of 12.

Additionally, all audiences will be required to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth for the duration of the performance, regardless of vaccination status. Additional details and updates on these policies will be posted at All artists, front-of-house staff, and volunteers will also be required to show proof of vaccination. The UMS staff is 100 percent vaccinated.

“Over the past weeks, we have consulted with public health officials at the local, university, and state level, as well as with other arts leaders across the country. After careful consideration, we have determined that the safest way for us to move forward with presenting live events given current circumstances is to require audiences to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID19 test in order to attend our events,” said UMS President Matthew VanBesien.

“Several audience surveys over the past four months have consistently shown that over 95% of our audiences are fully vaccinated, and we strongly encourage everyone who is able to receive a vaccine to do so, as this is the best measure we have to enjoy community and the arts together.

“We continue to offer flexible exchange and refund policies, and all of our facilities have excellent ventilation systems that meet national guidelines. We also recognize that we may all be subject to unexpected adjustments as the current conditions evolve.”

UMS will offer a digital discussion with UMS President Matthew VanBesien on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m., about the new season, including the health and safety measures that will be in place. Those in attendance will be invited to submit questions in advance or during the event.

In addition to its live performance season, which opens on Tuesday, October 12 with a recital by operatic superstar Jonas Kaufmann, UMS will continue to present free digital presentations throughout the 2021/22 season. The month of October includes three such offerings: a documentary commissioned by UMS about the making of Cleo Parker Robinson’s The Four Journeys, as part of a Digital Artist Residency during the pandemic (airing October 1-10); Acrobuffos’ Air Play, a family-friendly presentation accompanied by a learning guide for grades K-3 (airing October 4-15); and the digital world premiere of a new work written for the Spektral String Quartet by Tarek Yamani, which was also created as part of a Digital Artist Residency during the pandemic (airing October 27-November 27).

UMS is currently selling season subscriptions for its 2021/22 season; tickets to individual events go on sale on Thursday, September 9.