Post-lockdown gigs: what are the rules in your region?
As you're already probably aware, England is coming out of lockdown 2.0 next week, with a more stringent tiered system being implemented over the coming weeks until Christmas. Infection rates are beginning to level off, but that hasn't stopped the best part of the country being placed in tighter restrictions than we experienced pre-lockdown.
With the exception of the Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, and the Isles of Scilly, England will be facing either Tier 2 or Tier 3 restricted guidelines. In Tier 1 and Tier 2 regions, it means that live events will be able to take place, given that they abide by socially distanced protocol. Regrettably for those in Tier 3 regions, indoor venues will have to remain closed. These restrictions will be reviewed on 16th December, but until then there won't be any significant change from lockdown.
A small slither of hope for those involved in live events in Tier 1 and Tier 2 regions however, is that gigs will be able to go ahead. Given the precarious situation that the independent, grassroots venues, and the live music industry as a whole faces, this is at least some positive news.
So, if you (like us) are eager to support artists, venues, and promoters alike by attending gigs local to your area whilst of course being as safe and cautious as possible, below are the new applicable guidelines set out by the government for the entertainment industry:
Tier 1: Medium Alert
- early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
- public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
Tier 2: High Alert
- early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
- public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
- you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
- if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey.
Tier 3: Very High Alert
- indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close.
- there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
- large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
In short, gigs can take place similarly to pre-lockdown in Tier 1 and Tier 2 regions, but you're only allowed a delicious beverage with a 'substantial meal', so maybe it's a sound idea to give the booze a break before the festive period.
If you're comfortable with doing so, and take the necessary precautions ie. wear masks, wash hands, make space, then we can help the live events industry keep ticking until the vaccine (approval withstanding) becomes widely available, and we can experience live music as we once did. Till then, stay safe folks.
For more information on the new tiered system, click here.