Image by Anthony Devlin
The UK has delayed the reopening of live music venues, nightclubs and festivals. This comes after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, believed to be due to the hyper infectious Delta variant. This news comes shortly after the country shared data from a series of ‘pilot’ events which permitted crowds without social distancing protocols. Including The 2021 Brit Awards and a two day rave called The First Dance hosted by Circus in Liverpool, these events formed part of an ongoing experiment by the UK government, and attendance was regulated in accordance to audiences presenting negative PCR tests.
The results from the initial pilot events were promising, and the UK announced they planned to reopen the events and live music sector fully by the end of June. However, an address by Prime Minister Borris Johnson on June 14th confirmed the extension of the UK’s lockdown, meaning that clubs, festivals and live music venues are not expected to open anytime before July 19th at the earliest.
According to The Independent, this news could see the cancellation of nearly 5000 planned concerts and festivals, as well as the permanent closure for many clubs still operating in the country. Many venues had prepared for the planned lifting of restrictions on June 21st, and this setback could prove fatal to the future of these establishments.