The Government has announced that socially distanced live performance events will be permissible in English grassroots music venues from Saturday 15 August 2020.
Unfortunately, it remains the case that the vast majority of grassroots music venues are not financially able, or even have the physical premises layout, to deliver these newly permitted events. Those that can make social distancing work will be unlikely to be able to stage government compliant events tomorrow with this much notice.
However, despite the challenges the announcement presents, we broadly welcome this progress towards the return of live music. If gigs are going to return in stages, which is the government’s plan, then we have reached stage 4 of that plan and can begin to imagine that stage 5, real gigs at real venues, might be achievable in the foreseeable future.
Those English venues that can create events that comply with this new guidance, about 100 across the country of the 900 currently closed, will be hugely relieved to finally be able to open their doors in the coming weeks. We hope that the public will support the events that can now happen.
While this announcement has limited impact on grassroots music venues, or their ability to stage events, it is progress within the government’s plan towards the outcome everybody wants, that we Reopen Every Venue Safely.
Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust
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