Her Majesty’s government is giving concert promoters and live events organizers the green light to return to throwing outdoor concerts and performing arts events as the U.K. continues to push forward in reopening the entertainment sector of its economy following a rough few months dealing with the fallout from COVID-19. A report shared by Kerrang last week confirms outdoor concerts, music festivals, and theater-based events are allowed to start taking place again (effective July 11th) as long as organizers abide by keeping “A limited and socially distanced audience.”
“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,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said with the announcement. “That means theatergoers 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 announcement as part of the country’s five-stage roadmap presented by U.K. government officials last week also clarifies that a number of smaller indoor “test events” are planned to eventually take place in hopes of gauging the wider reopening of venues.
The announced return of outdoor events marks a major milestone for England, although the U.K. and countries in Europe have already been way ahead of the game in adjusting to the cancelation of all major tours and music festivals around the world since mid-March. European event promoters were the first to utilize the drive-in concert format which is now being widely embraced in North America. London’s O2 Academy Brixton is also preparing a virtual reality-based concert series while fans await the return of indoor events.
This weekend’s news drastically contrasts with the sad state of the industry in North America as there seems to be no potential return date anytime soon for traditional live events in the United States as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to surge in states including Texas, California, and Florida–the latter of which even hoped to reopen most of its businesses last month.
Fans should click here to read the Performing Arts portion of the country’s reopening plan in full detail.