June 21st was the date that music venues and festivals have been eagerly awaiting for some time now. However, plans to reopen took another blow after further delays were announced by the government last week.
With the grand ‘Freedom Day’ plans pushed back until July 19th, venues and festival sought a quick resolution and reassurance to assist with their predicament.
At the time, The Music Venue Trust pressed home the importance that government funding is distributed swiftly and plans are announced immediately to ensure there are no further “delays and bureaucracy that has beset previous rounds of this fund”.
Adding: “The decision to continue to limit cultural activities as a specific and extraordinary measure which, it is stated, will contain the spread of the Delta variant stands in stark contrast to how the government is approaching restrictions and containment overall.”
A week on and the government has now announced how they plan to move forward and where the remaining £300million will be distributed among cultural venues and festivals.
“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.”
Before adding: “This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better and ensure we can support more of those in need – safeguarding our precious culture and heritage, and the jobs this supports.”
While the swift turnaround of funding has been welcomed by venues, there is frustration from others in the industry as it would appear, freelancer musicians, live crew and stage technicians have been left out of this latest round of funding.
Various Stagehand Crew Relief Funds have been set up on social media to help support behind the scenes workers. This issue has only been exacerbated by the fiasco souring Brexit and European touring, which the government are expected to comment on soon.