Concert halls to test live shows at full capacity before June 21
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered the most promising ray of hope yet for the live entertainment industry with his lockdown roadmap measures, which are expected to see all concert halls reopen after June 21.
Now, it has emerged that some concert halls are already testing live shows at full capacity to determine exactly how crowds can safely begin to fill their venues.
June 21 could be a turning point for the music sector which is among the industries that have suffered the most from the coronavirus pandemic.
The big question is, when the doors reopen, how should customers expect to navigate health and safety measures while trying to live their best life on the dance floor?
Clapham Grand in south London already has a slew of shows planned for later this year, with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, James Bay and Ru Paul’s US and UK Drag Race stars among the acts hoping to return to the stage.
According to Mr Johnson’s plan, Covid-19 cases are expected to drop significantly by the summer thanks to the vaccine, but Clapham Grand will still adhere to health and safety measures.
Ally Wolf, director of the Clapham Grand, said Metro.co.uk: “We will facilitate whatever is necessary to be Covid compliant – as we did when we launched the reopening of the sector in July of last year – as the first venue to put on a live pilot show.
“We now have 80 physical distance shows under our belt – which ran from August to December 2020.”
Hoping to accommodate even more revelers, Wolf continued, “We are working with The Music Venue’s Trust & The DCMS on potential ‘full capacity’ pilot shows with side testing as a requirement to help explore the operational and practical implications of this. ‘
Wolf congratulates Mr Johnson for filling the industry with “heightened optimism for the future” after months of uncertainty.
“This looks like the first time that a realistic timeline has been published which – combined with the successful deployment of the vaccine – our industry’s incredible approach to all required Covid compliances – gives us hope for the future.” , said the general manager.
Wolf urged Mr Johnson’s government to provide ‘clear and consistent communication’ going forward and to give sufficient notice on the changes and requirements for further Covid compliance.
He added: “More than ever [we need] a program of financial support, including extended leave, to get us through this extended shutdown period, and what could be a period of six months and beyond to try to get back to pre-Covid bargaining levels with a hesitant market emerging from a global pandemic. ‘
Despite all his optimism about June 21, Wolf is still aware that this is “not the answer to all of our problems.”
“We – like many businesses – are currently straddling debt and a lot of hurdles to overcome to get us back to where we were in 2019,” he said.
The Royal Albert Hall in London is also moving forward with plans for a successful summer.
They’ve just released a new video voiced by Sir Mick Jagger and directed by BAFTA nominee Tom Harper on the history of live music to remind audiences that the venue will be ready to welcome fans when the time is right.
Craig Hassall, CEO of the Royal Albert Hall, told us: “It is fantastic news that the vaccination program is going so well and that the country is taking interim measures to reopen it.
“It is welcome to have a target date of June 21 for a full reopening.
“While we know how much people must look forward to coming together for live events, for the music industry the lack of insurance and capacity restrictions until at least June 21 means the venue will not may not begin fully resuming activities for at least four more months. ‘
Royal Albert Hall has been impressively successful in retaining the majority of its workforce, but it is essential that Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends the leave program.
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