The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Five-Step Plan Revealed For Live Performances To Return To The UK
Christian Eede , June 26th, 2020 13:34

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has outlined his roadmap for the live music sector post-COVID-19

A five-step plan has been revealed from the UK government for live performances to return in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden unveiled his plans during a briefing yesterday (June 25), with the view to getting music and theatre venues, which have been closed since March, open again when possible. A detailed timeline for the plan was not yet available.

Dowden said that his department is "working with the [culture] sector to get it fully back up and running as soon as possible and considering ways in which we may be able to support it further in addition to this unprecedented financial assistance."

The first step of the plan that Dowden set out involved allowing rehearsals and training for performances to resume with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Crucially, this would not involve audiences.

Secondly, performances for broadcasting and recording purposes would be able to resume, again with social distancing measures in place and no audience present. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport later confirmed that these first two stages could begin immediately.

Stage three on the DCMS' roadmap will allow for outdoor performances to take place with an audience in attendance, as long as social distancing was strictly adhered to. Pilot indoor performances may also be able to take place with a limited audience.

In stage four, both indoor and outdoor performances can take place, with social distancing measures still respected for indoor events, and finally, in stage five, larger audiences can again attend both indoor and outdoor performances and events.

Speaking to the BBC, Tom Kiehl, acting CEO of UK Music, said: "A roadmap is welcome but we also need a timeline for when live performances can resume. Financial help in the form of sector specific support is increasingly needed to stop music businesses from going bust."

In April, the Music Venue Trust warned that 550 independent venues faced the threat of closure as a result of COVID-19. A fundraising campaign launched by the organisation has helped to secure the future of a number of at risk businesses for the time being.

Earlier this week, the Music Venue Trust further warned the government that an pimmediate cash injection of £50 million is needed to prevent mass closures of venues in July, August and September.