Touring industry pros issue COVID-19 guidelines
Friday, 31 July 2020
robbie-williams-bst-hyde-parkPre-pandemic days - Robbie Williams plays Hyde Park
Europe - Professionals from across the global concert touring industry have joined forces to form the PSA Tour Production Group (PSA TPG) in order to provide a unified response to the impact of COVID-19 on live music events.
The body is a new arm of the Production Services Association (PSA) and includes tour managers, production managers, safety professionals, venue and festival managers, travel and logistics specialists, promoters, and industry suppliers.
The Covid-19 Working Procedures Guidance outlines how touring productions - which include one-off shows, festivals and live events of any size that require moving personnel and equipment to a new destination - can better align with suppliers, venues and promoters through consistency and consultation to assist risk management relating to COVID-19 transmission.
Based around a hierarchy of control (including elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administration and PPE) and a responsive threat scale, the guidance details different levels of design, schedule and control measures appropriate to conditions. These measures include social distancing, health declarations and monitoring, hygiene and cleaning, and mitigation.
Members of the PSA TPG have worked for artists including Madonna, Queen + Adam Lambert, Sam Smith, P!nk, Kings of Leon, Robbie Williams, Spice Girls, One Direction, Adele, U2, BST Hyde Park, Reading Festival, Nile Rodgers, Anastacia, Fatboy Slim, Ed Sheeran, Neighbourhood, Bluedot Festival, Tool, Isle of Wight Festival, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lollapalooza and Underworld.
Take That’s touring productions operate under the helm of production manager Chris Vaughan. “We have brought together the leading experts in live music concert touring to agree on how tours should be run whilst the threat of COVID-19 remains with us,” he says. “Production and tour managers are responsible for the operational, logistical, financial, creative and technical delivery of concerts around the world and, as such, we are proposing a series of guidelines that can be practically and realistically implemented.”
Wob Roberts, Sam Smith’s production manager, comments: “COVID-19 is an unwelcome addition to the rider, yet there’s no better group of people to find the solution than those that deliver shows for a living. More than a document, this is intended to be a responsive set of protocols that efficiently move with a changing environment.”
BST Hyde Park production director Mark Ward adds: “From an industry whose timeless motto is 'the show must go on', the pandemic has been a devastating blow - both economically and for the mental well-being of the huge number of people who work behind the scenes. These new documents offer many of the answers those people are searching for.”

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