As the Omicron Covid-19 variant sweeps across the world, there’s a very real prospect of more restrictions and even all-out shutdowns for live music in the coming months.
The UK’s Music Venue Trust wants the British government to get involved now to ensure venues can survive any such process. “Losses across the sector in this first week of this new phase of the Covid crisis hit nearly £2million, with 86% of grassroots music venues reporting negative impacts and 61% having to cancel at least one event in the week of 6-13 December,” claimed the Trust.
Its survey of its member venues found that attendance at shows has dropped by 23% in the last week, while ticket sales for future concerts dipped by 27%.
The Trust wants the government to create a fund to support venues. “It feels like we are back exactly where we were in March 2020, when confusing government messaging created a ‘stealth lockdown’ – venues apparently able to open but in reality haemorrhaging money at a rate that will inevitably result in permanent closures unless the government acts quickly to prevent it,” said CEO Mark Davyd.