Yesterday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a roadmap to “cautiously ease lockdown restrictions”, including some clarity around the potential return of live music events.
Performances in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half full – whichever is lower – could return from 17 May, as could outdoor performances in venues with 4,000 people or half-full (again, whichever is lower).
The government hopes to reopen nightclubs and remove all restrictions on large events from 21 June. However, both of these dates are provisional, and hitting them will depend on vaccines rollout; reductions in Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths; and no new variants of the virus that change the risk assessments.
The UK’s new live-industry umbrella body, Live, has welcomed the clarity, but urged the government to make sure the industry is supported while it awaits the 21 June. “We need the Government to commit urgently to an extension of the 5% VAT rate on ticket sales and employment support that reaches all those unable to work due to the restrictions,” said Live CEO Greg Parmley. “To reopen, the sector needs a Government-backed insurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead when it’s safe to do so, and with venues shuttered across the UK, an extension of business rates relief would be both fair and necessary.”
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