HITS Daily Double


The U.K. Government has hit the brakes on its plan to allow socially distanced indoor gigs to take place beginning Saturday. Plans have been delayed for at least a fortnight amid concerns over an increase in new coronavirus cases, further riling a consortium of venue owners and concert promoters.

Alongside ruling out gigs again, the reopening of leisure businesses has been paused until 8/15, rules on face coverings have been extended, pilot sports events have been cancelled and the decision to allow weddings has also been reversed.

A spike in infections in parts of northern England has resulted in lockdown restrictions returning to a number of places including Manchester and Lancashire. In those affected areas, people are no longer allowed to meet others they don’t live with.

Reacting to the news, the Music Venue Trust said that they have called on the British Government to acknowledge that music venues can’t reopen with current restrictions in place and that, realistically, they won’t be able to until 10/1 “at the earliest.”

Saying they are “saddened but not surprised,” Music Venue Trust added, “Since May 2020, Music Venue Trust has repeatedly informed the government that live music events in grassroots music venues would be extraordinarily difficult to stage, not economically viable, and at risk of being cancelled at short notice during the current pandemic.

“A number of venues across the country have attempted to stage such events based on advice from the government, incurring substantial costs to make their venues safe. That expenditure now adds to the growing mountain of debts accrued by those venues working within the government guidelines.

“Music Venue Trust has consistently asserted that no grassroots music venue will be able to stage live music events before 10/1 at the earliest, yet The Prime Minister has stated that the new reopening date might be as earlier as 15 August.

“Music Venue Trust would like to restate and emphasize the position of the sector, which is that a clear and decisive position on the part of government to provide support for grassroots music venues in the form of efficiently distributed crisis funding until such time as they can re-open safely and viably would provide the much needed clarity that venues, artists, audiences and the wider public need."