Fresh chaos over Barbican closure

Fresh chaos over Barbican closure


norman lebrecht

February 19, 2021

The British prime minister is due to make a statement on Monday, outlining the country’s emergence from lockdown.

The Barbican has jumped the gun by telling patrons it will stay shut through the summer.

Here’s the message customers are getting:

Because of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we’ve decided to cancel all the concerts you’ve booked for that were due to take place between 25 March and 11 July 2021.

To request a refund, to ask for the credit to be added to your account (valid for 12 months), or to donate the value of your ticket, head to

If you don’t set a preference before Thursday 4 March 2021 we’ll automatically refund you.

There has been no official announcement by the Barbican on its extended closure. It’s mayhem down there.

UPDATE: Ten minutes after this post appeared, the Barbican issued the following statement:

The Barbican today announced that its Live from the Barbican concert series will continue after Easter, including rescheduled dates from the postponed Live from the Barbican spring series. This will replace any previously announced concerts between April and July 2021. Full details for Live from the Barbican this summer will be announced in due course.


  • Peter Macklin says:

    Sadly what the Barbican is saying sounds pretty realistic to me!

  • Peter says:

    Whatever the statement from the PM, no-one can reasonably suggest that getting 2000 people together in a concert hall before the summer would be wise idea. Indecision and lack of clarity are never helpful; the Barbican should be applauded for decisiveness. I note no criticism on this blog of Carnegie doing the same yesterday. Or is this just open season on the Barbican Centre now?

  • Player says:

    Live from the Barbican meaning no peeps allowed in? They have hoisted the white flag as soon as possible. Glyndebourne intends to open in May… the private sector showing the way for ambition and “keeping calm and carrying on”?

  • Dr Huw says:

    Challenging times will subside only slowly, yes, but this is very disappointing, esp not even to aim to return after Easter to the socially distanced concerts they trailblazed in the autumn.

  • Santipab says:

    I expect they will have live events at the Barbican and will sell tickets as and when they know how many people they are allowed to host. Some of the events may even be the same as the ones that were cancelled but with a different seating arrangement. It’s easier to cancel events that were already on sale for a fully occupied hall and start again rather than move ticket holders to different seats one by one.

    The Barbican’s way of dealing with this is the only way forward and if anyone thinks that the government will announcement on Monday will allow concert halls can reopen with a full audience on a given date in the future they are on another planet.

  • Meridien says:

    Anyone making plans based on what our (UK) Prime Minister states, is not learning from experience.