A couple of weeks ago, the UK revealed a new five-stage plan for live performances to return amid coronavirus. The first two stages, which a government spokesperson confirmed could begin immediately, allowed for rehearsals and socially distanced performances without audiences to happen. Soon, however, the UK will be moving into stage three. As Variety reports, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden gave the go-ahead in a press briefing on Thursday (7/9) for outdoor music, theater, opera, and dance performances, with socially distanced audiences, to begin starting on Saturday, July 11.

Dowden said that they are also working out the details of how to begin indoor performances with socially distanced crowds, "funding studies" and testing how instruments might spread virus-carrying droplets within enclosed spaces.

He also asked people to "do [their] part" by purchasing tickets to performances and supporting the arts.

Meanwhile, Newcastle's new outdoor Virgin Money Unity Arena is set up as a "dedicated socially distanced venue," and Supergrass and The Libertines are among those who have shows scheduled there coming up.

The UK government is also giving £1.57 billion in grants and loans to art and culture institutions, including museums, galleries, music venues, cinemas, and heritage sites. That works out to nearly two billion dollars.

There has been no such offer of aid on a national level in the US, and with their prolonged closures continuing with no end in sight as coronavirus cases spike throughout the country, music venues are in a precarious position; 90% will be forced to shut down without aid, according to a survey. The National Independent Venue Association is lobbying for government assistance for venues; visit saveourstages.com to contact your legislators and help out.

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