Just in: UK will reopen concert venues

Just in: UK will reopen concert venues


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2020

The culture secretary has announced that outdoor theatres can reopen from this Saturday, indoor performances will follow a little later, subject to pilot trials and safety checks.

He said: ‘This is an important milestone to our performing artists, who have been waiting in the wings for months.’

UPDATE: Test events will include the London Symphony Orchestra at its St Luke’s chamber venue, as well as performances at the London Palladium and Butlin’s holiday parks.


  • Janet Taplin says:

    The guidelines say players should be BACK to BACK or side by side . How can you put players back to back and allow them to see the conductor. I am not sure that these politicians have thought this through or maybe they have not been to a concert

    • Robert King says:

      Instrumentalists usually sit side by side, so that aspect of the guidance is not impossible to follow.

      Every step that gets musicians nearer to being able to perform again and, equally, audiences able to return safely to concerts, is surely to be welcomed. There is a huge amount of work being done behind the scenes to get live music back up and running. Some you see reported in the media, but vastly more is going on behind the scenes.

      Not all politicians are philistines (e.g. Sir Kier Starmer was an exhibitioner at Junior Guildhall and especially enjoys Beethoven) and even those politicians who look only at figures now know (they’ve been battered with the figures) that the UK music industry alone is worth £5.2 billion annually to the UK economy [source: DCMS/HoL] and employs around 300,000 people [source: Creative Industries Federation]. As a parallel, the fishing industry generates £1 billion and employs 12,000 people, 2,400 of them being part-timers [source: gov.uk]. Politicians who do only numbers know that music is significant to the UK economy.

      SD readers based in the UK: please do keep lobbying your MP, the DCMS and ministers. Sheer volume really does count, and attached personal stories behind what you write also adds weight.

  • lillianastanescu says:

    I look forward to seeing the LSO at Butlins in the coming months – a long overdue debut at this ‘outreach venue’ for them.

  • Iain Scott says:

    The Culture Secretary you refer to , Oliver Dowden, speaks only for England. He has no authority,thank God, for Scotland,N. Ireland or Wales.
    Can you please amend to reflect this.