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Indoor Performances May Return in England From 1 August

On Friday 17 July, the Prime Minister announced that indoor live performances (with social distancing) should be able to resume in England from Saturday 1 August.

Photograph of a couple of guitars set back stage in an indoor venue
The return of indoor live performances is dependent on the successful completion of a number of pilot schemes which are currently ongoing.

Clearly the Prime Minister’s announcement is a welcome and important step for MU members, but there are still some significant challenges to be overcome.

Firstly, the return of indoor live performances in England is dependent on the successful completion of a number of pilot schemes which are currently ongoing. The MU has been involved in the pilot schemes and, through member engagement, has put forward a number of proposals for consideration.

Secondly, venues will need to stick to the guidance published earlier this month which includes reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales. Whilst this is clearly necessary in order to keep everyone safe, it could make a number of live performances not viable financially.

Clearly there will continue to be real issues for many musicians, so we are continuing to appeal to the Government to provide sector specific support for our members.

The guidance is for England only at this stage. We will provide updates on other devolved areas when they announce their response. Members should familiarise themselves with our health and safety advice for live performances.

One step on the long road to recovery

Our General Secretary Horace Trubridge responded to the news:

“Whilst we welcome this news, we also recognise that it is just one small step down a very long road to recovery.

“We really need to hear that this government understands the plight that so many in our profession are struggling with and put in place a sector specific financial support package to enable musicians to stay in the profession.

“Simply placing the live music industry into an ‘induced coma’ will not guarantee that musicians can stay in the profession.”

Take action now

Please continue to use your voice, as you can see from the Government’s new measures, it really does work.

Ask the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect all self-employed workers, and ensure no musician is left behind.

You can use our template letter if you're not sure what to say. Remember to include how you are affected too. Personal stories make all the difference.

Write to Rishi now.

Published: 20/07/2020

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