Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that we will come out of the month long lockdown next week.
Music fans have been left in limbo as the Prime Minister did not clarify if this the new tier system would allow some music venues to re-open and let live events take place.
Festivals and larger music events haven’t been able to go ahead since March 2020, leaving many within the industry fearing for the future. Particularly those organisers involved in festivals.
Having already had to deal with large losses, The Association of Independent Festivals stated that there will be refunds of up to £800m for events that were due to take place and up to £375,000 per festival will be lost on overhead costs such as marketing, staffing and advertising. If the sector does not receive further support from the government it could be faced with redundancies.
Matt Grimes, Music Industries Lecturer at Birmingham City University talks to Birmingham Eastside on the impacts this has had on the industry
“The live music sector in the UK has been the hardest hit within the music industry, with 72% of music industries personnel being freelance, and many of those working in the live music sector (as musicians and tech, ticketing, bar staff etc), government support has barely been able to sustain their livelihoods.
“The continuation of venue closures does not bode well for the live sector post-Covid as we may lose many grassroots venues that are vital for the development and support of live performance and talent development.”Matt Grimes, Music Industries Lecturer at Birmingham City University
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced that the COVID-19 vaccine could potentially help us return to normal by April 2021. The vaccine which has proven to be 90% effective in trials is reported to be rolled out by early next year.
This could be seen as a lifeline for the struggling festival and live events industry.
Lawrence Barton, Director of Birmingham Pride Festival speaks with Birmingham Eastside on his views on the latest announcement
“I’m hugely frustrated by the latest handling of this whole situation and how it continues to adversely affect the hospitality sector as I own bars & clubs; not to mention the importance of the return to events.
“I can now attend a sports event sat around a thousand other people, whilst other events unrelated to sports continue to suffer.”Lawrence Baeron, Festival Director for Birmingham Pride
Although it is good news that sports events can finally be attended, this will be costly as extra staff will be required to meet measures put in place.
Hopefully, we can see the return of live music next year, but during these uncertain times nothing can be guaranteed.
For more information on the latest government guidelines, visit here.