In Scotland, the Government orders masked concerts

In Scotland, the Government orders masked concerts


norman lebrecht

August 19, 2021

Message from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra:

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has announced details of its Autumn 2021 concerts for Glasgow and Edinburgh. Starting on Thursday 23 August, the orchestra will give nine concerts at its home in City Halls and two Sunday afternoon concerts at the Usher Hall.

Dominic Parker, Director, BBC SSO said: “We’re so excited to get back playing to live audiences at City Halls and the Usher Hall. If anything has become clear over the past months, it’s that our players need and want an audience more than ever. And from the messages of support we’ve received from audiences, it seems like the feeling is mutual.”

In order to reduce the risk of infection, seating for Glasgow and Edinburgh events this autumn will be partially-distanced with reduced capacities in each venue. Audiences will be required to wear masks as directed by current Scottish Government guidance.



  • Christopher Clift says:

    Masked concerts (still/again) but not masked football crowds, pubs, fast food and other restaurants!! What on earth is wrong with the thinking of this government (Scottish or at Westminster)??

  • Hugh Kerr says:

    I suspect that this guidance will be largely ignored by the audience ,during the current Edinburgh Festival the audience aren’t required to wear masks when sitting down outside or inside at the Festival Theatre. Interestingly the LSO string players were fully masked last night at their concert.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    What pathetic nonsense! The Scottish Government have been silent on any encouragement for classical music throughout the Pandemic and now this! Personally, I do not think the SNP give a damn about the existence or future of classical music or the arts in general. Also, the scottish orchestras, opera and ballet companies, have been annoyingly silent during the Pandemic; apart from their online presence where punters were invited to spend their monies watching on a screen and now they’ll expect the public to turn up to their concerts wearing masks. They should have been shouting from the rooftops about the neglect of this shambolic Scottish government and about its silence on matters artistic. Football supporters were allowed to run riot through Glasgow’s streets a few months and no action was taken, and are now allowed to attend live matches in their thousands. The sedate art of attending a concert is obviously seen as more of a threat. Unbelievable!

    • Hugh Kerr says:

      To be fair to the Scottish government it has given large subsidies to the arts including the RSNO Scottish Opera and the Edinburgh Festival. I suspect as I said earlier that masks won’t be insisted on but some may still wear them for protection or fear. Don’t forget the average of classical music and opera audiences is pretty high and some may be vulnerable to Covid even if doubled jabbed.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Judging by the ticket prices for classical concerts at this year’s Edinburgh Festival it is clearly aimed at middle and upper- middle class audiences and, as a result, has become an elitist event. At the height of the Lockdown last year, I emailed my local MSP, as well as the Westminster equivalent, both SNP politicians, about what the Scottish Government’s plans for the arts would be in a post-Covid Scotland and neither of them could bothered to reply. I think that says it all.