A new survey hasrevealed the full extent to which grassroots music venues in England plan toreopen their doors from 17 May.
The survey, commissioned by Music Venue Trust (MVT)among the nearly 1,000 members of its Music Venues Alliance (MVA), revealsthat 2,534 socially distanced shows are already on sale in 266 venues from 17May 17 to 21 June, with more than 4,000 shows across over 400 venues predictedto take place across the period.
17 May begins the penultimate stage in the UK government’s roadmap to easeCovid-19 lockdown restrictions in England before a planned return tofull-capacity social activity on 21 June.
By the end of September, the survey indicates thatover 17,000 full-capacity shows are confirmed to take place, with nearly 30,000shows likely to take place in front of a combined audience of nearly sevenmillion.
With support artists factored in, it is estimatedthat there will be 91,500 individual live performances during the period,offering over 300,000 work opportunities for musicians as they finally get thechance to return to paid employment.
“THEGRASSROOTS SECTOR IS STEPPING UP AND PUTTING ITS OWN TIME AND MONEY INTOANSWERING THE DEMAND FOR LIVE MUSIC”
Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of MVT, says:“It’s incredible to see the enthusiasm for getting live music back into ourtowns and cities being shown by venues, artists and crew. These sociallydistanced shows aren’t being delivered for financial return – in fact preciselythe opposite. The grassroots sector is stepping up and putting its own time andmoney into answering the demand for live music in our communities.”
According to MVT, the grassroots music venue sectorturned over £360 million in 2019–20 (prior to the pandemic), delivering over200,000 events and more than half a million performances to 33m ticket holders.The sector provides full time employment for 10,000 people, with approximately150,000 musicians, crew, sound engineers, lighting engineers, securitypersonnel, bar staff and other casual employees working in grassroots livemusic.
“As we emerge from the darkness of the last year andmove towards our plan to revive live it is incredibly exciting and hearteningto see the positivity with which UK grassroots music venues are approachingre-opening their doors,” says MVT CEO Mark Dayvd.
“The fact that musicians can get back to work, musicfans can start to enjoy a live music experience again and all the associatedstaff in the music venue ecosystem can go back to earning a living again isamazing news. There are still challenges to overcome – and, of course, thewhole of this programme relies on the government sticking to its roadmap toallow us to reopen every venue safely. Audience safety continues to begrassroots music venues’ main priority, but this is hopefully the start of ourmuch-anticipated road back to normality.”
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