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

The UK to allow music venues to reopen in August

The Conservative government has announced its intentions to reopen music venues in August.

While many iconic establishments have been forced to close their doors on a permanent basis amid unavoidable financial difficulty, the end appears to be insight for those who are clinging on.

The current health crisis, and the subsequent social distancing measures which followed, forced all music venues to remain closed for the length of the lockdown. Now, however, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport gas announced that “theatres, music halls and other venues” can plot their comeback from August 1st.

“The UK’s performing arts sector is renowned across the world and I am pleased that we are making real progress in getting its doors reopened to the public with social distancing. From August indoor theatres, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country,” culture secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement.

The government has trialled a pilot program with the London Symphony before making this decision, an effort which, according to the data, was a success. While it appears to be a step in the right direction for venues, each establishment must follow stringent social distancing rules—an aspect which could be impossible for smaller, independent businesses.

It has been confirmed that reduced capacity, significantly lower ticket sales and a heavy importance on deep cleaning must be implemented.

“The announcement marks a major step in getting the arts and cultural sectors fully back up and running, and follows the government’s announcement of £1.57 billion of funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this month, the biggest ever one off investment in these industries,” a statement reads.

“This announcement marks the move to stage 4 of the government’s 5-stage roadmap for the return of professional performing arts. Under the new regime, audiences, performers and venues will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times.”

The following rules must be adhered to:

  • Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  • Tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace
  • Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach
  • Increased deep cleaning of auditoriums
  • Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives
  • Performers, conductors, musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible
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