Some UK halls will reopen next week

Some UK halls will reopen next week


norman lebrecht

November 26, 2020

With parts of the country, including London, being regraded as Tier 2, the public will be able to attend music again from next Thursday at –

Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall

Saffron Hall, Essex

and others as they inform us…


  • yujafan says:

    just what we need at this time – decent music to lift the spirits and stir the soul. Wishing them all the best

  • Firing Back says:

    The question is, of course, what exactly will they be able to do in these ‘open’ halls? Bums on seats and virus super-spreader events?

    Too soon, ill advised, looking desperate, squandering their money (funding), trying to make themselves look good.

    Keep those doors shut and save lives.


    • Roman says:

      Election is over. Everything will be good now. Don’t worry.

    • Orchestral Player says:

      Stay indoors then and let the rest of us enjoy. Fed up with all the hysteria.

      • Amos says:

        Vaccines are months away but your extensive scientific and public health experience informs you advocating that we ignore what we’ve learned and return to behavior guaranteed to infect and kill more people. “Let the rest of us”, don’t you understand that there is no you vs. me but only we? Everyone’s actions have consequences and to ignore science is to welcome death.

    • George B says:

      Well, I guess I’ll just take your word for it. Seeing as you are obviously an esteemed authority and are privy to the inner workings of the Liverpool Philharmonic and Saffron Hall, who is definitely not some geezer who is really talking from where the sun doesn’t shine. As per usual, firing back.

      • Firing Back says:

        Oops – doesn’t take very much to trigger you, does it George B?

        You’re right, though – I’m definitely not a ‘geezer’.

        But, since you opened the ad hominem door, I’ll join in and ask if you actually think you’re effective as a stooge/spokesperson for your bosses? Can they really do no better than wheeling you out to deflect?
        They must be desperate… Oh, that’s right: they are.


        • George B says:

          But why are they desperate, firing back? Why would they need to desperately give you attention? I can tell by the language you’re using that you are really only here to rile people up.

          • Firing Back says:

            Erm, then why ARE you so triggered and giving me said attention, then, George B?
            I comment on posts here – I do not ever engage with other users unless they engage with my comments first.

            By my ‘language’, you mean I’m speaking truths that no one in the industry wants spoken. So, they send little armies of stooges here to try and silence me. People like you, perhaps? Cult members who do as they’re told.



          • Craig says:

            ‘Silenced’ on Slipped Disc, an open forum, because someone is disagreeing with you. Truly an astonishing take. The idea that your opinion is of such danger to ‘the industry’ that some suit in an office has to make a covert phone call to ‘deal with the SD comments’ is hilariously misplaced.

          • Firing Back says:

            Glad you find it hilarious, Craig. I do, too!
            Your first sentence was a bit muddled, but I get the gist.

            Problem is, if you look back through SD, you’ll see that a large number of those ‘suits’ are so triggered by my comments that they do, indeed, react here – openly using their own names. Many bluster away to such a degree that they show themselves up big time.

            And then, of course, the little ‘armies’ of never-before-seen-on-this-blog people pop up – those tasked with trying to deflect from what I write here, and those who are simply so dumb that they just insult me.

            How do I know this? Well, it’s a small industry. People talk – and it leaks like a sieve.
            But you knew that.


          • norman lebrecht says:

            I think it may be time, in the interest of transparency, that you used your own name. The so-called suits have been doing so here for years.

          • Firing Back says:

            Well, I’m not exactly one of them, Norman – so it wouldn’t really be a fair playing field.
            As you know, I never make comments to other contributors unless they engage with me first – and, the overwhelming majority of them do not use their own names, yet their agendas are very clear.
            If people wish to use their own names, then they kind of lay themselves open to both compliment and criticism – but they know that, surely.

            If you’d like me to stop posting here I’ll abide by your wishes. It will probably be a popular move 🙂


          • norman lebrecht says:

            Just be a little more considerate. The chip is getting larger than your shoulder.

          • Firing Back says:

            That’s a bit rich.
            I’ll let you all get on with it your way – as in not rocking the industry boat too much, or speaking out of turn.

            Good luck to everyone,


    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Absolutely. Let’s outlaw death.

  • Roman says:

    My personal hope is that Barbican will open. Zimerman’s Beethoven Marathon is my most expected concert in the last couple of years.

    • Geoff says:

      Looks to me like that concert will go ahead but it’s a travesty to play it with such a tiny audience (or online) when it’s obviously a major highlight for thousands of people. I wish the orchestra had postponed these Beethoven / Zimerman / Rattle concerts but unfortunately it seems that filming them is more important than how many people can hear them live.

      It’s also more than a little odd that the Barbican has just cancelled all concerts that it has arranged itself until 2 April, and yet the LSO (playing in the same venue) thinks it’s fine to play with an limited audience in two / three weeks. Very mixed signalling to say the least.

      • Roman says:

        This concert was arranged on a Beethoven’s Birthday, so I don’t think that it is possible to move it to any other date. In case it is moved, it wouldn’t be so special in the eyes of many people.

        I also suspect that there are fears that the situation with concert halls wouldn’t change quick enough. Opening concert halls to the full capacity is not the top priority for the government (in contrast to opening pubs, for example) so if it is postponed to Match, there is no guarantee, that it is going to be much better. Hopefully it is not the case, but no one knows for sure. And I guess Rattle and Zimerman both have quite a busy schedule, so if the don’t do it now, they probably wouldn’t make it next year.

      • Schoenberglover says:

        Really hoping this concert can go ahead as well but I think you have to quarantine for 14 days if you arrive in the UK from Germany (where Rattle lives) & Switzerland (where Zimerman lives) so we shall see if either of them can make it to London. If they can’t make it, I hope it goes ahead with some fantastic UK-based artists.
        Also, could it be that the LSO are in a better financial state compared to other organisations because of the Cultural Recovery Fund, hence the ability to hold live concerts to small socially-distanced audiences sooner at the Barbican? Either way, the Barbican are still holding a separate concert series,“Live from the Barbican” involving orchestras & artists other than the LSO so looking forward to hearing what they’ve got in store for the new year.

  • Geoffrey Mogridge says:

    I attended a dozen “covid-secure” concerts in Leeds Town Hall from 28th Aug until Lockdown 2, and I felt absolutely 100% safe. West Yorkshire is going into Tier 3 from 2nd Dec, therefore audiences are banned. Where is the scientific evidence to back this? Answer: there isn’t any.

    • Una says:

      A dozen? How did you manage to get in? I could not get one single seat for even one concert in Leeds as they had all been bought up by those block booking in groups of 2 and 4. But tgen hardly enough there to make it financially viable, and get the staff in to do all the sanatising before and after, and put themselves at risk to make the few safe. So much goes on behind the scenes we don’t see to make it happen at all – same in places of worship. Opera North managed La Voix Humaine before the second lockdown. 50 seats in the Leeds Playhouse and only 18 turned up. Came out feeling I’d been to the hospital outpatients not to an afternoon at the opera. Everybody gagged up in all manner of masks, including the accompanist, resulting in no facial expressions and no social interaction, and no drink at the bar. I came to the conclusion that it was not my way to go and hear live music, and a stressful experience. Good luck to those in London and like to go like that. In Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, we are all now in Tier 3 so concerts not allowed.

      • Geoffrey Mogridge says:

        I review the concerts so perhaps obtaining a ticket not as much of a problem as you encountered. It’s not about financial viability, more to do with serving the community. True that masks, no intervals and one way systems are not much fun. The strict measures certainly didn’t inhibit the wonderful music making from Kathryn Stott, Manchester Collective, Louise Alder, Ian Bostridge, Joseph Middleton and many more. Opera North are live-streaming Fidelio from from an empty Leeds Town Hall on 12th December. The three performances of Opera North’s Connecting Voices that I reviewed at Leeds Playhouse were well attended even if the entry procedures more closely resembled an airport security check-in. The experience must be made more welcoming if audiences are to return.

        • Music lover says:

          It’s certainly a complex operation & probably frustrating for some. I’ve only been to one concert since the 1st lockdown, a wonderful Kirill Gerstein recital at Wigmore Hall, but I’m simply too grateful for the privilege of being able to hear live music again. So I’m not complaining. The 6-7 month silence really made me appreciate even more than before!

  • Mary K says:

    Liverpool Phil have been so organised with their concerts. I felt perfectly safe each time I went – far more safe than going to the supermarket. They have also videoed them and on the first evening they are made available printed them with live introductions and live Q&A. It’s not the same as being at a concert but it certainly helps. I’m going to the concerts next week after this lockdown ends.