Here at Grapevine we are quite excited at the prospect of outdoor gigs taking place again – indeed some already have over last weekend since the UK Government updated their performing arts guidance on 9th July.
There are musicians who rapidly packed their gear and headed out in search of a gig, others questioned the legality of it all but most, like ourselves, read through the guidelines – as with everything in life, the devil is in the detail.
Whilst venues still do not know when they will be able to open fully for business again there is a five-part plan to get the entertainment business back on its feet again. Announced by culture secretary Oliver Dowden on June 26th the five steps are:
- Rehearsal & training – no audiences allowed and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
- Performances for broadcasting and recording are allowed whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.
- Outdoor performances with an audience. Pilots for indoor performances with limited distanced audience.
- Performances allowed indoors and outdoors. Indoor audience must remain limited.
- Performances allowed indoors and outdoors. Fuller indoor audiences allowed.
From which you can see that we have arrived at stage 3 – outdoor performances. No one if forcing performers to perform or for audiences to turn up. It is perfectly OK if, because you do not feel safe, not to get involved.
But if you do, you should read the small print. The Government has a newly published guidance document for Performing Arts, if you are a musician or an actor you should read this, especially section 4 which covers keeping you safe at work.
Now, before you go ‘yada yada yada.. borrrring’ – remember: Covid-19 has not gone away. The Government does not run venues nor is it a performing body, so it is down to those who do to implement these guidelines – the venues, the employers, the bookers, the performers.
If you are a member of The Musicians Union and have any questions about risk assessments or have any concerns about working live, then give them a call.