UK government reveals 5-stage plan for live performances to resume
While NYC is now in Phase 2 of reopening from coronavirus closure, it's likely going to be a while before concerts as we remember them return. In the UK, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden presented a new five step plan on Thursday (6/25) for live performances to start up again, the BBC reports. It starts with allowing rehearsals and performances without an audience for the purpose of recording or streaming in the first two stages, both of which a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sports confirmed could start now.
The next stage would allow for outdoor performances in front of an audience, and the beginning of indoor performances in front of a limited, socially distanced audience. From there, the next two stages gradually allow for larger audiences for indoor performances. Here are all five:
Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences and adhering to social distancing guidelines)
Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes (adhering to social distancing guidelines)
Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience plus pilots for indoor performances with a limited distance audience
Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (but with a limited distanced audience indoors)
Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)
"I am determined to ensure the performing arts do not stay closed longer than is absolutely necessary to protect public health," Dowden said.
Tom Kiehl, acting CEO of UK Music, responded to the plans, saying, "A roadmap is welcome but we also need a timeline for when live performances can resume. Financial help in the form of sector specific support is increasingly needed to stop music businesses from going bust."
Louise Chantal, director and CEO of Oxford Playhouse, was also suspicious, tweeting that the plan was "about as useful a map as a snakes and ladders board. We need dates, data and INVESTMENT now!"
Meanwhile, in the US, the government hasn't outlined plans for the return of live music and performances, specifically. Organizations including the National Independent Venue Association are working to ensure independent venues won't be forced to close their doors because of the pandemic, however, and two NYC Council members recently formed the "CBGB Caucus" to address the issue in NYC.