Revive Live | Live from New York...and LA| Festival Republic host major outdoor gig
The UK’s grassroots venues will be busy this summer as some 28,500 shows are expected between May and September, with 17,000 already confirmed. The current roadmap will allow the fourth and final stage to reopen full capacity shows by June 21, paving the way for a summer full of live in-person events.
Stats from the Music Venue Trust’s survey show that over 2,534 socially distanced shows are planned across 266 venues between May 17-June 21 (Phase 3). During this stage, indoor venues will be able to host up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity (whichever is lower) and outdoor venues will be able to host up to 4,000 people or operate at 50% (again, whichever is lower). In total, over 4,000 shows are scheduled across 400 different venues for the month.
After more than a year of sitting behind closed doors, the time has finally come for independent venues to reopen to the public and fill their empty stages. The numbers are indicative that the demand is high for the return of live shows and independent venues are answering this demand and preparing for a wave of live shows. Not only is it exciting news for fans to get a glimpse of their first shows in over a year, but it will be bringing 300,000 working opportunities for musicians (as well as various other jobs in the industry ecosystem).
As long as the government sticks to the roadmap plan, it will be a lively summer throughout the UK, as far as independent shows go. Larger events (>5,000 capacity), however, are hanging in limbo since there is still no sign of government backed insurance (yes, we’ve covered this issue once or twice). At this stage, there are 76% large scale festivals that are at risk for having to pull the plug if there is no support offered soon.
Live from New York...and LA
Following last week’s #Vax4Live campaign announcement, Inglewood’s SoFi stadium hosted one of the first and largest in-person events in the LA area in about a year's time. A number of strict safety precautions were set in place, including doubling up on disposable or cloth masks, assigned seating, temperature checks, and onsite rapid testing for crew. The limited capacity crowd consisted solely of healthcare professionals and other essential workers who have all been vaccinated. Since everyone in attendance was vaccinated, guidelines allowed up to a 67% capacity which filled the stadium with around 47,000 individuals.
In similar news, New York will also be slowly reopening the live event scene by lifting some restrictions later this month. State governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on Monday that will allow theaters, concert venues, restaurants, bars and museums to lift their current capacity restrictions as of May 19.
Venues will be allowed to open to a capacity that will allow for social distancing but will still have to wait to host full capacity shows. If they choose to open up more than social distancing will allow, it will be necessary to implement further safety measures (i.e. proof of immunization or a recent negative COVID test). The current timeline for the full state reopening will be July 1st which gives performers, workers and fans a little hope for an eventful summer. If you’re hoping to catch a broadway show in September, tickets will be on sale this week!
Festival Republic hosts major outdoor gig
5,000 Liverpudlians flocked to Sefton Park on May 2 as they were the lucky bunch to score a ticket to one of the pilot events being carried out in the city. The Government's Events Research Programme (ERP) has scheduled a variety of trial events throughout the UK between April 17-May 15, ranging from live concerts, nightclub sets, movie screenings and sport matches in an effort to get crowds back to live events safely. ERP teamed up with Festival Republic to organize the Sefton Park gig where indie band Blossoms played in front of a buzzing crowd.
The crowd was visibly ecstatic to get back to some sense of normalcy and get a taste of live music for the first time in over a year. No masks were required and no social distancing was enforced. Pictures show a tightly packed crowd with some fans easily falling back into their old habits and sitting on friends’ shoulders. Every one of the 5,000 attendees had to present a negative Lateral Flow Test result to gain entry and were required to take a follow up test 5 days post-event.
Researchers will be studying if transmission of COVID-19 increases in large crowds at outdoor venues but results are still pending. The events world is watching closely and hoping for some good news from these test events.
Festival Republic’s managing director Melvin Benn stated “[t]he Sefton Park Pilot is the most important event in the Event Research Programme for getting festivals back this year and I’m delighted to play my part..it’s about a universal approach to our love of live music for all and demonstrating we can do it safely.”
Well said Melvin.