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U.K. Government Clears Outdoor Concerts to Resume


The U.K. government, in its ongoing quest to be almost but not quite as embarrassingly bad as the U.S. at containing the coronavirus, has cleared outdoor concerts to resume this weekend with “a limited and socially distanced audience.”

Despite all the evidence suggestion the virus is much less likely to spread outdoors than indoors, this strikes me as a bad idea. I get it: the live events industry is suffering, people need jobs, and the masses are craving entertainment. I just don’t think I’m ready for an outdoor concert yet in close proximity of others. How about you?

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden explains:

“Of course we won’t see crowds flooding into their venues, but from July 11 our theatres, operas, dance and music shows can start putting on outdoor performances to socially distant audiences. That means theatregoers can experience a live play for the first time in months at places like the stunning Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and music lovers can attend Glyndebourne this summer.”

The lift on bans of outdoor public gathering puts the country in stage three of its five-step roadmap for bringing back the performing arts. Stage three also includes testing of small indoor events, which will begin soon. The roadmap has been laid out as follows:

Stage One – Rehearsal and training (no audiences)
Stage Two – Performances for broadcast and recording purposes
Stage Three – Performances outdoors with an audience and pilots for indoor performances with a limited socially-distanced audience
Stage Four – Performances allowed indoors and outdoors (but with a limited socially-distanced audience indoors)
Stage Five – Performances allowed indoors / outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)

I suppose it really comes down to how these events are implemented. How will social distancing be enforced? All it takes is one idiot to get a whole lot of people sick.

As far as a return to full-time touring for bands, that won’t be happening any time soon, but I do wonder whether ordinances like the above will make it possible for Europe’s great outdoor metal festivals to return in summer 2021.

[via Kerrang!]

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