Manchester music venues Deaf Institute and Gorilla to close
(Credit: Alani Cruz)

Culture Secretary outlines plans to reintroduce live indoor events

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has stated his plans for Operation Sleeping Beauty, an effort which is his plan to revive indoor live performances in time for Christmas.

Theatres across the UK have been allowed to reopen—albeit with social distancing measures in place—which have made it almost impossible to make financially viable openings because of the reduced audience numbers.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dowden said that he is now planning on getting things back up and running for Christmas, which will be a relief to everybody working in the world of live entertainment.

“In recent weeks, we’ve all been thinking and talking about the Proms. I for one can’t wait to be back in the Royal Albert Hall next year, singing ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’ at full voice,” Dowden wrote. “I have very fond childhood memories of watching at home every year with my grandma, and hope to be one of the first through the doors next year.

“To get audiences back into our venues in much larger numbers though, we’re going to have to innovate and be bold to save the things we love,” the Tory politician added.

Although the impetus of his article was about theatre, Dowden also touched on his plans to bring back live music performances as well.

“Mass indoor events are now in my sights,” he wrote. “Socially-distanced audiences have been allowed since mid-August, and it’s great to see organisations like the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and musicals like Sleepless – A Musical Romance, back up and running again.

“But we need to start filling seats in much larger numbers – not just for the audiences, not just for the venues and livelihoods who depend on them, but for the entire urban economy, too. Theatre is a lynchpin of London’s West End and its absence is painfully reflected in its deserted streets,” Dowden added.

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