Indoor Concerts Returning to England Next Month, Culture Secretary Declares

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London, England. Photo Credit: Eva Dang

Earlier this month, Digital Music News was first to report that the British government was allowing outdoor concerts and theater events to resume. Now, following the success of this program and a trial run for socially distanced indoor entertainment, fans will have the chance to attend indoor concerts beginning on August 1st.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden recently announced the upcoming return of indoor concerts. As was also the case with the aforementioned outdoor concerts and theater events, promoters will be required to implement social distancing measures in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Evidently, the “pilots” – test shows that invited audiences into indoor settings – conducted by the London Symphony Orchestra and others demonstrated to the government that similar functions can safely occur on a greater scale.

Furthermore, Culture Secretary Dowden indicated that casinos, ice skating rinks, and bowling alleys will also be allowed to reopen on August 1st. And provided that an additional series of pilot gatherings go off without a hitch, Dowden stated that “stadiums and competition venues” – referring specifically to those that host sporting events, but not appearing to exclude sizable concert halls – will begin welcoming back attendees in October, as will business events, centers, and conferences.

On social media, fan opinions of the quickly approaching return of indoor concerts in England appear divided, with some voicing their approval and others communicating safety-minded and/or logistical concerns.

“And how do you suggest social distancing backstage and on stage…. impossible!” wrote one individual.

“Welcome news!  Please ring fence funds with a matching fund.  For every ticket sold, government should pay for another.  So 30% audience capacity becomes up to 60% financial capacity. As audiences return, government pays less until full capacity reached.  This will save theatres,” encouraged a different Twitter user.

“It will not be financially viable for the vast majority of organisations to open at reduced capacity – this cannot work,” penned a third person.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock recently highlighted the progress that has been made in the fight against the coronavirus, including via increased testing and other measures. Additionally, Secretary Hancock reiterated that heightened preventative steps will complement the ongoing reopening plan (including for indoor concert venues and generally, in terms of all commercial spheres). To be sure, the British government is set to require masks in supermarkets and stores starting this Friday, July 24th.

UK medical professionals have diagnosed about 295,300 COVID-19 cases to date, and approximately 45,000 residents have perished as a result of the disease’s complications.