Music venues in England will be allowed to sell alcohol at ticketed live shows from Wednesday, 3 December.

Initially, post-lockdown restrictions included a ban on selling alcohol in venues within Tier 2 areas, a measure that the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) and Music Venue Trust (MVT) warned would prevent music venues being able to deliver economically viable events with 65% of their income coming from wet sales.

The original guidelines, announced by the Government on 26 November, stated that alcohol could only be served as part of a ‘substantial’ meal, but the MVT, CPA and Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment Group argued that 92% of grassroots music venues do not have the necessary facilities to fulfil that criteria.

CPA chair Phil Bowdery said, “The announcement is hugely important for the events industry as stopping the sale of alcohol was going to mean that even if venues were technically able to open under Tier 2, they wouldn’t have been able to financially: “There’s still a long way to go for the live music industry to recover, and the new situation is extremely challenging for those in Tier 3, but we’re grateful to all those involved, in the industry and in Government, for securing this sensible step.”

MVT CEO Mark Dayvd said, “We are delighted that we have been listened to and that guidance has been issued that makes it clear that ticketed events at grassroots music venues can go ahead in Tier 2 with alcohol on sale. It makes a direct difference to the number of shows that can be delivered and is a significant step forward.”

The full guidance can be found here, or see below for the relevant section: