Bosses at some of the UK’s biggest music venues are asking the government to consider a range of new measures to ensure gig-goers can safely attend gigs this autumn.
Craig Hassall, Chief Executive at the Royal Albert Hall, spoke to Mirror Online about a range of strategies that could be implemented to ensure fans can attend concerts safely, saying lessons could be learned from South Korea, where venues were able to continue to operate during the pandemic.
Hassall told Mirror Online: “We’ve asked the government to look at how venues in other countries have been operating, and the checks and balances they have put in place instead of blanket social distancing guidelines.
“The test case in Seoul – where a Phantom of the Opera production has continued running – has seen audience members walking through a light mist of disinfectant, having their temperature taken, and filling in a questionnaire about their symptoms and recent places they’ve visited.
“If we’re to find a solution, it is going to be a combination of numerous measures, from increased access points to hand sanitisers, Perspex screens and PPE for staff.”
Hassall echoed many in the industry saying current social distancing rules would not work. He added: “We’ve done some modelling using social distancing rules and our capacity would be reduced to around 27% with two-metre distancing, and around 36% with one-metre.
“In order for us to break even, and therefore be sustainable as a charity, we typically need a capacity of around 90%.”
Speaking to NME recently about the ongoing issues facing venues in a time of social distancing, Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said: “The most important thing is that the government restrictions must be explained.
“If not, we don’t want the government telling us how to run our businesses. What we need is for them to say ‘this is what needs to be done in terms of the virus’ and we can then go back to them and tell them how to do it, how much it will cost and who can and can’t do it.”
The Utilita Live From The Drive-In series will see a series of artists performing across 12 venues in the UK, to fans who will be provided with a private individual viewing zone next to their cars.