THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that indoor performances with socially distanced audiences could take place throughout England from 1 August, has been given a cautious welcome by the Association of Independent Promoters (AIP).
Johnson said that the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport is working with the live music sector on pilot performances with indoor audiences, including the London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke’s (cap. 450) in London, which will inform guidance to promoters on how to socially distance at events.
Distancing measure will include reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales; venues to clearly communicate social distancing, with marking in areas where queues form, increased deep cleaning of auditoriums and performers observing social distancing wherever possible.
AIP founder John Rostron says, “It is encouraging that lockdown is easing but our members don’t turn around shows in two weeks.
“Our eyes are firmly on late autumn and this gives us encouragement that this could be happening,” he says. “Our promoters cannot see how they can do meaningful shows with any kind of social distancing. Some think it’s possible with subsidies, but that’s not a route most want to go down.
“The industry will return when we get to the point where we feel close to normality, for example moving to masks and hand sanitisers. But our work is all about being up close and personal and the finances reflect that.”