Yesterday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that nightclubs and concerts could return to the country as early as June 21st, 2021. The timeline is based on a four-step program that will see COVID-19 restrictions gradually ease as long as cases continue to drop.
As one might expect, concerts and nightclubs are in the third and fourth stages, which feature the most conditions needed. While certainly an important development for those in favor of bringing back live music, some industry professionals have argued that additional support will be necessary.
Shortly after Johnson made the announcement, UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin responded with a statement. In his detailed letter, he expressed his excitement for the gradual reopening of the country and outlined the impact it will have on the struggling live music industry.
“It is fantastic news for the 200,000 people working in the music industry and millions of music fans that we are just a few months away from live music bursting back onto stages,” Njoku-Goodwin wrote. “Our world-leading live music scene – ranging from stadium and concert-hall filling acts to emerging solo performers in the local pub – will help lift people’s spirits and deliver a huge cultural and economic boost as we emerge from this pandemic.”
He continued: “…It is vital that our industry gets the continued economic support it needs to keep us going through to the point we can restart. The prospect of there being no legal impediments to live music events means issues like insurance are now even more pressing. They now present one of the final barriers to getting events going this summer. The industry has worked tirelessly with the government to explore testing, better ventilation and many other innovative solutions to help lift the pause button, which has crippled our industry for the past year.”
In addition to Njoku-Goodwin, the CEO of the Music Venue Trust, Mark Dayvd, echoed the concerns of his colleague in a statement to DJ Mag. He posited that the leadership “must clearly lay out exactly how the government is going to provide that sector-specific support” in their budget moving forward.
No details of an additional U.K. government support scheme to be implemented during the reopening have been announced at the time of writing.
Image credit: Josh Soren