UK outdoor live performances to resume
Thursday, 9 July 2020
parkPhoto: Martin Moreno
UK - Outdoor venues, including open-air theatre, opera and music venues, can reopen from 11 July and host socially-distanced performances, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden has announced this afternoon (9 July).
This will mean venues will be able to host performances for the first time in 115 days since they were forced to shut on 18 March.
"This is an important milestone for our performing arts, which have been waiting patiently since March," Dowden said. "We are taking various measures to make these places safe as they reopen. Venue capacity will be reduced and organisations will be encouraged to move to electronic ticketing to help Test and Trace. But our performing arts deserve an audience and they will be getting one."
He added that the government is working to usher audiences indoors as soon as possible and is funding scientific studies to find ways to mitigate "specific public health risks", like the impact of singing and wind and brass instruments on coronavirus transmission.
It is also working with the sector to pilot a number of small indoor performances with a social distanced audience. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working alongside sector bodies including UK Theatre, the Association of British Orchestras and the Musicians’ Union to identify suitable pilots. This will include working with London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke’s as well as the London Palladium and Butlins amongst others.
"The more we know about coronavirus in this setting, the safer we will be," he added. The minister said government is taking steps to protect venues from demolition or change of use in addition to the £1.57bn package announced last Sunday.

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