Delta variant 1 - Live events 0  | Serbia making history - Largest music event in Europe since COVID  | National Lottery & Music Venues Trust to the rescue

Delta variant 1 - Live events 0  

The rise of the Delta variant has thrown the world back into disarray.

After 2 weeks of scrapping almost all restrictions in the Netherlands despite a mere 39% vaccination rate, COVID cases have skyrocketed by more than 500%. 52,000 people have tested positive over the course of a single week. The Dutch government has been forced to reintroduce restrictions on nightclubs, restaurants and music festivals until August 14th in hopes of putting the brakes on the swell of coronavirus infections among young adults.

Crowded street in Amsterdam at night

At least 40% of the cases that could be tracked occurred in hospitality venues. Other sources indicated a 262% surge in infections among 18-24 year olds and a 191% increase in infections among 25-29 year olds. To say the least, they went from” back to live” to “back at home” in what felt like a blink of an eye.

We bet it was fun while it lasted.😢

Serbia making history - Largest music event in Europe since COVID

Meanwhile, other countries are making a different kind of history. Organizers of the Exit Festival recently staged Europe’s largest music event since the rise of the COVID outbreak. The annual festival lasted four nights and drew around 180,000 maskless, non socially distanced fans. There were a few complications with last minute performer cancellations due to the ongoing travel and health concerns, but everything was resolved smoothly with longer sets from willing artists and spontaneous surprises throughout the weekend.

Exit Festival crowd

While the rest of Europe is seeing cancellations of festivals for the second year in a row, an event that typically sees more local attendance, had fans flocking from Germany, France and Spain for a chance to get in on the action. Attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or present a negative PCR test to gain admittance to the event.

Serbia has fully vaccinated roughly 2.5 million people which equates to around 39% of the total population. According to the Serbian health ministry, just two people have been identified with the Delta variant in the country so far. The news coming out of the Netherlands has everyone’s eyes on the possible repercussions of the event but for all our sakes, we’re hopeful for a success!

National Lottery & Music Venues Trust to the rescue

It’d be an understatement to say the pandemic has taken a toll on grassroots music venues worldwide. In the UK, 83% of venues have been forced to close for the last 14 months and are coming out of lockdown with a collective debt of £45m. Thankfully, National Lottery and Music Venues Trust have heard their cries for help and have announced a groundbreaking partnership that will help revive grassroots live music.

the national lottery sign

The details of this collaboration include…

  • The National Lottery donating £1 million to directly fund the touring and production costs of over 300 live shows.
  • More than 20 tours will be held once venues are able to operate (following government guidelines, of course).
  • Up to 30,000 tickets (approximately half the capacity) given to National Lottery players.
  • A free “plus one” for National Lottery Ticket holders.
"It's so important to get artists and crew back out and working, to get our grassroots music venues back up and running, and to get friends, families and communities back together enjoying live music.” - Mark Davyd (CEO of Music Venue Trust)

We couldn’t agree more. The industry has been going through continuous ups and downs. We really hope that as vaccination rates increase, we can go back to doing what we love and fans can experience unforgettable live events, sooner rather than later. 🤞