Leadership / 02.24.21
U.K. Government Unveils Roadmap for the Return of Live Music
Billboard (02/22/21) Smirke, Richard
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-step roadmap for the restoration of live music in Britain, assuming COVID-19 infection rates continue declining and the momentum for vaccination does not flag. Limited capacity indoor music shows will be allowed from May 17 onwards — if certain health provisions, including capacity restrictions and social distancing, are complied with. New guidelines stipulate that promoters must keep audience sizes at a maximum of 1,000 people or 50% of a venue's capacity — whichever is lower — for select indoor events with up to 4,000 people, or 50% capacity for outdoor events. Large outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed can allow up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity. Johnson added that all U.K. social distancing restrictions could be lifted from June 21, provided four key conditions around vaccinations, infection rates, hospital admissions and new coronavirus variants are satisfied. He stressed that the proposals aim to be "cautious but irreversible" and would be led by "data, not dates." The U.K. live industry met the announcement with mixed reactions, with executives urging additional financial backing to help keep businesses, crew members and technicians solvent in the interim. Greg Parmley at newly formed U.K. music trade body LIVE was disappointed that the live music sector has been left "at the back of the queue to reopen," and argued for a government-supported insurance scheme covering live shows as a cushion for promoters, artists and venues.
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Tags: Music , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus