uk nightclubs and festivals

UK nightclubs and festivals set for June 21 return

UK nightclubs and festivals will return to the UK by the end of June, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s schedule to remove all COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

The government’s roadmap to reopening the UK economy states that all social distancing measures could lift on June 21 at the earliest. The government will continue to monitor COVID infection rates and will change in accordance with the data.

The easing of lockdown restrictions has been broken down into four phases.

Phase one begins on March 8, with all schools to open and two people from different households being able to meet outside for a drink or picnic. From March 29, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households can meet outside, including in private gardens.

Phase two begins on April 12, woth non-essential retail, hairdressers and outdoor venues such as takeaways, beer gardens and zoos, as well as indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms to reopen.

Phase three begins on May 17, from which points two households can mix indoors, with the rule of six applied in hospitality venues such as pubs. The rule of six will be scrapped outdoors with a limit of 30 people able to meet. Crucially, cinemas, museums, hotels, live events and sporting events can reopen but with social distancing measures in place. Details aren’t clear at this stage, so it is assumed that such indoor events will be seated affairs in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Up to 10,000 people will be able to attend events at large outdoor venues such as football stadia.

The all-important fourth phase from June 21 is when all social distancing measures will be abolished and live music events and nightclubs will be able to reopen.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin hailed the announcement as “fantastic”, having recently called on the government to provide greater clarity on when a return for live events could be expected.

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“It is fantastic news for the 200,000 people working in the music industry and millions of music fans that we are just a few months away from live music bursting back onto stages,” he said.

“Our world-leading live music scene – ranging from stadium and concert-hall filling acts to emerging solo performers in the local pub – will help lift people’s spirits and deliver a huge cultural and economic boost as we emerge from this pandemic.

“However, it is vital that our industry gets the continued economic support it needs to keep us going through to the point we can restart.

“The prospect of there being no legal impediments to live music events means issues like insurance are now even more pressing. They now present one of the final barriers to getting events going this summer.

“The industry has worked tirelessly with the Government to explore testing, better ventilation and many other innovative solutions to help lift the pause button, which has crippled our industry for the past year.

“We will now continue to work with the Government on pilot schemes to ensure a safe, consistent and successful approach to getting live music back in our communities as soon as possible.”

“While the astounding success of the vaccine rollout means the end of the health emergency is in sight, the economic toll of this pandemic will be with us for a long time to come – making dynamic growth industries like the UK music industry more important than ever.

“The music industry can play a key role in the post-pandemic economic and social recovery, and live music events could be the shot in the arm that Britain needs as we look to bounce back from this pandemic.”

The government’s full roadmap can be read here.