After the UK Government eased lockdown rules on live shows in England, Music Venue Trust warns that only a small percentage of venues will be financially able to re-open.

Venues were orignally scheduled to re-open on the 1st August in the UK, however this was pushed back moments before as COVID-19 infections increased. Last week, the UK Government announced that indoor performances could restart in England providing venues enforce social distancing measures, limited capacities and masks.

Music Venue Trust welcomed the easing, but says the majority of grassroots music venues are not financially able to re-open. They estimate only 100 of the venues it represents would be able to re-open under the new guidelines.

Further easing of lockdown for live performance is a symbolic moment, yet it remains extraordinarily difficult to resume events and gigs in an economically viable way. The government must ensure support measures for all aspects of the sector – including venues, festivals, musicians, performers and crew – are in place while many individuals and businesses in the sector still cannot get back to work.

Tom Kiehl, Acting Chief Executive, UK Music

While we welcome the Government’s announcement of the further easing of lockdown measures, this is still a long way off being back to normal for many businesses in the night time economy and events sector.
We still have many questions with regard to the operational conditions for opening these businesses, but would urge the Government to consider a more robust communication strategy with a realistic timeframe to allow businesses the opportunity to prepare for opening.
Nightclubs & Venues have once again been excluded from this announcement, but for a footnote to highlight that they must remain closed.
By the end of September 2020 we will see 70% of nightclubs and venues in the UK close for good, with thousands of jobs lost without a clear roadmap for re opening and further financial support during this extended period of lockdown.

Michael Kill, CEO, NTIA (Night Time Industries Association)