Gig-goers encouraged to #takeatest before returning to live music


July 19, 2021

With pandemic restrictions in England lifted today, the Music Venue Trust has launched a campaign encouraging music fans to voluntarily take lateral flow COVID tests before attending live shows.

The UK government has gone ahead with plans to remove most COVID-19 rules today, despite concerns about rapidly growing cases of the delta variant of the virus. With the majority of older members of the British population now fully vaccinated, it is mainly younger people who are falling ill.

Last week, the Night Time Industries Association published the results of a survey which found that fewer than 20% of night time businesses planned to require proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order for customers to gain entry.

Venues are not obliged to seek such proof under the latest rules, although Prime Minister ‘Boris’ Johnson suggested that they should. However, many night time businesses said there wasn’t time to implement such measures having been given just a week’s notice, plus – with checks of that kind not being a legal requirement – business owners anticipated arguments between customers and door staff if any proof of COVID vaccinations or tests were requested.

But, of course, none of this stops gig-goers from checking they are COVID free before attending a show. And that’s the focus of MVT’s #takeatest campaign, encouraging music fans to take personal responsibility in helping stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have spoken at length to our community about reopening venues safely as restrictions are lifted, and whilst there are differing opinions on some aspects of how we will achieve this there is a consensus about asking music fans to accept personal responsibility to keep themselves and others safe”, says MVT CEO Mark Davyd.

“We have an opportunity through this strong, unified #takeatest messaging across the live music sector to persuade audiences to accept that responsibility and to take a lateral flow test before attending”, he adds. “This is a voluntary initiative that speaks to the sense of community across the grassroots live music sector. We are confident that live music fans will respond positively to this direct appeal from venues, promoters, artists and their fellow gig-goers”.

Free lateral flow tests are available from pharmacies, or can be ordered online here.

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