Safety Procedures: Aronoff Center and Music Hall 


(current as of September 1, 2023)
Guidelines are subject to change.

As we welcome you to the Aronoff Center and Music Hall, the health and well-being of our audiences, staff, volunteers, and artists remains our number one priority. Current and future COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for both of our venues will continue to be informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our partners at TriHealth. At this time, the wearing of face masks is OPTIONAL. 

Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you at our venues!


(current as of September 1, 2023)


For your safety and expedited entry into the Aronoff Center or Music Hall, bag sizes are restricted to 12" x 12" x 6". Bags exceeding this designated size will not be permitted inside the building. Exceptions can be made if you have a medical necessity (please see a staff member who can assist). All bags and jackets are subject to inspection at the entrance. For additional information, check out the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS below.


For the safety of everyone at the Aronoff Center and Music Hall, all persons entering these venues will walk through a metal detector (magnetometer) and have their bag searched, or be screened with a hand-held metal detector, to search for prohibited items. Oversized bags, luggage, and backpacks will not be permitted inside the venues. Purses and other small personal bags are allowed after a thorough inspection.

These procedures are additional best practices to create a safe and pleasant entertainment experience for all of our guests. These standard screening procedures are similar to those in place at major performing arts venues, arenas, and stadiums locally and across the country.


Guests are not permitted to bring the following items into Music Hall and the Aronoff Center:

  • Large bags, backpacks, and luggage
  • Weapons of any kind including, but not limited to: firearms, explosives, stun guns, handcuffs, brass knuckles, sticks, clubs, batons, martial arts instruments, pepper spray, tear gas, knives, etc. Guests found in possession of such items will be asked to remove the items from the venue or dispose of them.
  • Professional photography equipment, long and/or detachable lenses, tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks (unless approved by management)
  • Outside food and beverage (empty plastic reusable bottles are permitted)
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs
  • Cans, glass, or metal containers
  • Animals/Pets (except service animals)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Audio/video recording equipment (unless approved by management)
  • Balloons, beach balls, or other inflatable items
  • Fireworks or incendiary devices of any kind
  • Laser pens and pointers
  • Musical instruments and cases
  • Noise-making devices (e.g. whistles, air horns, etc.)
  • Posters or signs
  • Skateboards, rollerblades, bikes, etc.
  • Tools
  • Pamphlets, flyers, handbills, etc. (unless approved by management)
  • Any other items deemed inappropriate or unacceptable by Music Hall or Aronoff Center management

This list of prohibited items is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Music Hall or Aronoff Center management.


The ushers and staff at both venues are here to provide an excellent experience for you and all of our guests. If you need assistance or have any questions, please speak with a member of our team.


Do I need to wear a mask due to COVID-19 protocols?

The wearing of face masks is optional and at the discretion of each of our guests.

What size purse or bag is considered acceptable?

A small or clutch-size purse or clear bag is recommended. 

For your safety and expedited entry into the Aronoff Center, bag sizes are restricted to 12” x 12” x 6".  Bags exceeding this designated size, including instrument cases, will not be permitted inside the building beginning September 1st, 2023. Exceptions can be made if you have a medical necessity, please see a staff member who can assist. All bags and jackets are subject to inspection at the entrance. 

Why did you change the bag-size policy in September 2023?

Each year, we consult with industry leaders, as well as local law enforcement and Homeland Security, to ensure that our venues are safe. Based on these recommendations, we adjust our safety and security policies. 

Why do the Aronoff Center and Music Hall have a bag-size policy?

Our bag-size policy has been implemented for the following reasons:

  • Security: Larger bags can potentially conceal prohibited items and pose a security risk. By restricting bag sizes, we can reduce the likelihood of guests bringing in items that can disrupt performances and/or endanger the safety of others. 
  • Reduced Security Screening Time: Smaller bags are easier for event security staff to inspect.  This helps facilitate shorter wait times for guests entering the Aronoff Center. 
  • Emergency Access: Each year, we see injuries involving guests tripping over bags as they exit the theater. In the event of an emergency, quick and unobstructed access to exits and evacuation routes is critical. Smaller bags help ensure that aisles and passageways remain clear, making it easier for guests to exit the venue expeditiously and safely. 
  • Audience Experience: Large bags create excessive space congestion in seating and walking areas.  Smaller bags allow for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for all guests.
  • Consistency: Establishing a bag-size policy helps create a consistent and predictable experience for guests, which allows them to plan accordingly to avoid surprises or inconvenience. 
  • Compliance with Industry Standards: It is a standard practice across many large venues in the City of Cincinnati to have a bag-size policy. It is our responsibility to make sure that our venues are secure and safe. Without a policy, we can be perceived as a weaker target to those who might seek to do harm. 

I wasn't aware of the new bag-size policy. Did you communicate this to your guests prior to the change?

We are truly sorry if you did not receive or missed advance notice about this change. Over the past nine months, we communicated this new policy in a variety of ways to our guests, including:

  • Bookmarks were handed out to guests attending events for nine months preceding the implemented change, effective September 1, 2023
  • The policy change was posted on the Cincinnati Arts Association’s website and social media channels.
  • The information was listed on the Know Before You Go emails sent by the Cincinnati Arts Association and Broadway in Cincinnati.
  • The change was mentioned by select local news media leading up to the opening of the Broadway in Cincinnati season.
  • Notice of this policy appears on digital ticket confirmations sent by the Cincinnati Arts Association Ticket Office. 

Are breast pumps and diaper bags permitted?

Yes. Breast pumps and diaper bags are permitted.

Are cell phones permitted?

Yes. Cell phones are permitted, but must be turned off or set to the silent mode during performances unless otherwise indicated at the event. The light and sounds from a cell phone can be distracting to the artists on stage and audience members sitting around you. The guidelines for cell phone usage may vary for different events, and an usher will be happy to help you with the guidelines for the performance you are attending.

Are these procedures in place due to a specific security concern?

The implementation of these procedures is not a response to any immediate safety threat or concern, but rather an additional best practice to create a safe and pleasant entertainment experience for all of our guests.

Is it safe for me to walk through the metal detectors if I have a pacemaker or a metal medical implant?

Yes.  It is safe for you to walk through the metal detectors with pacemakers or metal medical implants. If you have any concerns, please speak with a staff member at Music Hall or the Aronoff Center, and we will be happy to screen you using another method.

Do the metal detectors and scanners use an X-ray?

The metal detectors, also called magnetometers, do not use X-ray technology. A magnetometer is a safe device that measures magnetism and is widely used as a metal detector at venues across the country.

Will I need to empty my pockets before I walk through the metal detector?

No, you do not need to empty your pockets to go through the metal detectors. You can also keep your personal items including bags with you as you walk through. 

Do these safety procedures apply for all shows/events at the Aronoff Center and Music Hall?

Yes. For event information, contact the Cincinnati Arts Association Ticket Office at (513) 621-ARTS [2787]. You may also contact the following Music Hall resident performing arts groups for more detailed information about their events:

  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/May Festival: (513) 381-3300
  • Cincinnati Opera: (513) 241-2742
  • Cincinnati Ballet: (513) 621-5282

Will this procedure apply to events in other event spaces at the Aronoff Center and Music Hall?

Yes. These procedures will be implemented for all public events at the Aronoff Center and Music Hall.  All guests entering the building are subject to a safety screening.

How much time should I allow for the safety screenings?

Guests are encouraged to arrive at least forty-five minutes before the start of an event at the Aronoff Center or Music Hall. 

Can I use any entrance into Music Hall and the Aronoff Center?

MUSIC HALL:  Access to Music Hall will not change. Safety screenings will be available at all public entrance doors on Elm Street.  
ARONOFF CENTER:  Access to the Aronoff Center will be slightly modified.  Safety screenings for events at the performance spaces listed below will be available at the indicated entrances:

  • PROCTER AND GAMBLE HALL:  Seventh Street (Weston Art Gallery door), Seventh and Walnut Street (North Plaza door), Walnut Street (Procter & Gamble Hall doors), and Sixth and Walnut Street (Jarson-Kaplan Theater entrance, South Plaza door near Nada Restaurant).
  • JARSON-KAPLAN THEATER:  Sixth and Walnut Street (South Plaza door near Nada Restaurant).
  • FIFTH THIRD BANK THEATER:  Seventh and Main Street doors

What time will I be able to enter Music Hall and the Aronoff Center for events?

MUSIC HALL:  You may enter Music Hall anytime beginning one to one-and-one-half hours before the start of an event, depending on the policies of the performance.  For specific information about the time doors open to the venue, contact the Cincinnati Arts Association Ticket Office at (513) 621-ARTS [2787].
ARONOFF CENTER:  You may enter the Aronoff Center anytime beginning one hour before the start of an event.

If I go outside of Music Hall or the Aronoff Center during intermission, do I need to go through the safety screening again?

Yes.  Anyone who leaves either building at any time will need to repeat the safety screening to re-enter the venues.

Are there safety measures in place outside of the Aronoff Center and Music Hall?

Yes.  Security officers and police officers are positioned in a variety of locations outside of both venues for the safety of our guests.