England will begin to resume concerts as soon as August 1, according to comments made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Concert goers will need to remain socially distanced while in music venues.
Oliver Dowden, the UK culture secretary, confirmed concerts will resume via Twitter earlier today. The opening of concert venues is stage four of England’s five stage plan to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic.
From 1 August socially distanced audiences can return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues. This builds on pilots with @londonsymphony and others. So pleased to make progress to Stage 4 of our road map for culture. pic.twitter.com/Js7dQUghZ6
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) July 17, 2020
“From 1 August socially distanced audiences can return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues,” Dowden said in a Tweet. “This builds on pilots with @londonsymphony and others. So pleased to make progress to Stage 4 of our road map for culture.”
According to Billboard, indoor concert venues will first be tested with pilots from the London Symphony Orchestra at St. Luke’s London. Venues will be cleaned regularly and held at a reduced capacity. The indoor concerts apply only to England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s methods for reopening are dictated by national administrators. Earlier this month, the United Kingdom had also funded $1.96 billion for arts and culture as the entertainment industry had been furloughed.
The measure to reopen music venues follows a steady drop in COVID-19 cases from the UK since the beginning of the pandemic, with an average of 704 new cases a day. Wales has the largest average of cases, with 538 people per 100,000 contracting the coronavirus.
While the United States is discouraged from hosting music concerts, several have occurred over the past month. Great White had performed in North Dakota last week, where audience members were not required to follow social distancing measures. Last weekend also saw Pennsylvania music festival, Retreat In My Elements, continue with attendees having to be tested twice before entering the venue. Static-X are hosting a music festival in Wisconsin this weekend, emphasizing that fans follow safety measures and social distancing. The United States continues a rise in COVID-19 cases, with Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Alabama having the most cases per capita.
More can be read from mxdwn’s UK division here.
Photo credit: Owen Ela