The Government said venues can stay open throughout the lockdown period to host streamed performances and rehearsals, while recording studios are also able to continue to operate and music video productions can continue.
Lucy Noble (pictured), chair of the UK’s National Arenas Association, which represents 23 arenas, welcomed the news but emphasised that the uncertainty surrounding the length of the lockdown will impact live shows in the run up to Christmas.
Noble, who is also artistic and commercial director of the Royal Albert Hall (cap, 5,200) said, “During November [the Royal Albert Hall] is largely not impacted by the lockdown because we can do behind-closed-doors performances. We have a live streamed show by Niall Horan this weekend.
“The lockdown ends on 2 December and we start our Christmas season of shows with socially-distanced audiences on 9 December but I think this lockdown will impact sales for that period.
“The biggest question is; are we going to be able to host those shows? We are going to hang on in there, we are forging ahead as if we are going to be able to go ahead in the hope that lockdown is not going to be extended.”
Other streamed shows scheduled at the Royal Albert Hall during lockdown include Kylie Minogue, Architects and Culture Club. Ticketed online concerts specialist Driift, owned by ATC Management, which is producing the Kylie Minogue and Niall Horan shows, also has a streamed concert lined up by The Vamps at Hackney Round Chapel on 21 November.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said, “Arts venues are places of work, so people can come into them for work, if it cannot be undertaken from home. This includes rehearsals and performance. Audiences are not permitted.”
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin welcomed the Government’s “important vote of confidence” in the music industry after ministers confirmed that professional recording studios and music video productions can continue under new national restrictions for England.
He said, “I am delighted that ministers have recognised the huge amount of work that has gone into stringent measures to ensure that our studios are Covid-safe environments where work can and should continue.”