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Music Venue Trust Calls New COVID-19 Restrictions "Illogical"
Christian Eede , November 25th, 2020 18:17

Rules that alcohol can only be served with 'a substantial meal' spell trouble for music venues offering socially distanced events, the organisation says

The Music Venue Trust has responded to the UK government's latest tier-based outline of coronavirus restrictions which will come into effect next week following the end of a month-long nationwide lockdown.

The organisation has described aspects of the new restrictions that will affect grassroots music venues as "inconsistent and illogical," particularly calling on the government to rethink limitations within tier two, which would see music venues putting on socially distanced venues only being able to serve alcohol to patrons with 'a substantial meal'.

"In tier two, grassroots music venues are technically permitted to deliver live music events," the Music Venue Trust's statement says. "However, the government has announced that alcohol will only be able to be consumed if it is accompanied by 'a substantial meal'.

"MVT has repeatedly detailed to HM Government that income within the grassroots sector derives 65% from wet sales and 35% from ticket sales. It is not possible to deliver an economically viable event in this sector without the financial support provided by alcohol sales. 92% of grassroots music venues do not have the necessary facilities to provide substantial food."

The organisation added that "failure to reach equivalency between food and culture on this issue results in a distorted market," and with a number of venues unable to make money from the sale of alcohol, it may make putting on events unviable. Furthermore, with these venues able to open under local restrictions but unable to put on profitable events, it's feared that financial support may not be forthcoming from the government.

You can read the Music Venue Trust's statement in full here. It follows on from a stark warning by the Night Time Industries Association last week that said UK clubs could be on the brink of "extinction."