Jan Dalley, arts editor of the Financial Times, makes a compelling case for why concert halls need to reopen:
The past few months, with all their closures, cancellations and lockdowns, have posed some stark questions about culture. And about the performing arts in particular, the music, theatre, dance and other live events that are most sensitive to Covid-related restrictions. Do we need them? Do we care if we don’t have them? Does it matter whether or not the performance is live, in front of us, experienced together with others in an audience?
For most people the first two answers would be yes, and yes, unequivocally. But for many, the answer to the third question isn’t quite so clear. After months of relying on the digital realm, of feasting on streamed everything, from rock music to white ballet, of spending evenings curled up with Netflix, how much does live performance really matter?
Kings Place, a cultural centre in London’s King’s Cross that works as an independent charity, wants to answer that loud and clear. The centre, with its two wooden concert halls, was created only a dozen years ago by property developer Peter Millican, who is still Kings Place’s executive chair. It’s one of many venues that can’t be sustained on the very limited-capacity reopening that’s currently possible, but its programmers were determined not to allow silence to reign. Or to let our cultural starvation diet continue….
Read on here.