Leadership / 07.22.20
Indoor Events to Return to the U.K. in August
Pollstar (07/20/20) Gottfried, Gideon
The U.K. government is launching the fourth stage of its five-stage plan to resume performing arts and other live events, with audiences to be readmitted to indoor venues under mandated social distancing guidelines starting Aug. 1. Venues are required to limit their capacities accordingly to ensure safety, with tickets purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help track visitors down in case authorities want to trace a chain of infection. Venue operators also should have markings in place where lines form, and the government is urging adoption of limited entry and more rigorous cleaning of auditoriums. These mandates have provoked skepticism in some quarters. BBC arts editor Will Gompertz said it made "no financial sense for many venues to open with social distancing rules in place; theater budgets tend to be based on a break-even of around 70% capacity. If social distancing measures mean a theater can only run at 20-25% capacity, the producer cannot afford to put the show on." This position dovetails with the view of Britain's Night Time Industries Association, which in May said government-enforced restrictions on business capacity and physical distancing would invalidate certain business models. Although the fifth stage of the government's plan to bring back performing arts will permit venue operators to increase indoor capacities, its rollout is not guaranteed.
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Tags: Music , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus