21ST JUNE, ARE WE GETTING EXCITED, TOO SOON?
A year on from the U.K.’s first lockdown and the live music and events industry has started to reawaken. We have dusted ourselves off here at Beating Hearts, after a year of next-to-no work and are excited at the prospect of actual, physical live shows happening in the (hopefully) not so distanced future.
During the downtime, I have tried to remain realistic around my thoughts on how the pandemic would affect our industry, and I feel lucky to be invited to wider discussions around this.
I have noticed many getting excited over this magical date in June and taking it as complete gospel that all restrictions around COVID-19 will be lifted and life will return back to normal.
SO, WHERE ARE WE AT?
The Government has stated that the roadmap out of lockdown is a cautious one and each stage will only go ahead if certain points have been met. We understand that the removal of social distancing and face masks will likely be a rocky road to navigate, which will have a huge effect on all of us working in live music.
There is every possibility that there will be a change in the guidelines less than a week before the planned ‘reopening’ date in June. The Government could decide that social distancing is still required, which could be a spanner in the works for events to go ahead. Event organisers are being warned to have a ‘plan B’ in their pockets, which adds extra costs in the planning stages.
It may well be possible to socially distance 10,000 people within the boundaries of the event space but there are concerns around how those people will travel to and from the event. If the trains are busy, then there is a higher risk of spreading the virus.
I also feel that the upcoming test events don’t demonstrate how people behave during our events. Our gig-goers are usually a lot sweatier, standing shoulder to shoulder, dancing/moshing whilst belting out the lyrics, and holding a pint, which is a completely different demographic to a football match or theatre show in the West End.
Our grassroots venues are currently limping through until they can open at full capacity again. They can’t survive on social distanced events alone as the cut in people allowed on their premises means less money made through ticket and bar sales.
More festivals have started postponing for a second year. Boomtown has just canceled due to lack of insurance, something that will be a common theme through the coming months.
Our industry supply chain has been massively affected. There are fewer people around as some have been made redundant, had to leave their career, or fold their businesses due to the pandemic. They then needed to find secure employment elsewhere so understandably don’t want to come back.
We will be the last industry to make a complete comeback, we are a resilient and passionate bunch who are too stubborn to give up on it.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY LOCAL SCENE IN THE MEANTIME?
We might still have the absence of in-person live shows but there are many ways that you can still support the event industry (artists, venues, promoters, etc.) within your community.
· Donate to Crowdfunding campaigns.
· Buy official merch.
· Pre-order new releases.
· Support them on social media – like, share, follow, subscribe, etc!
· Sign up for mailing lists.
· Watch live streams and share with your friends.
· Treat streaming as a ‘try before you buy’.
· Keep buying tickets to shows and keep hold of current ones.
· Donate to industry campaigns.
· Sign petitions to support self-employed Artists.
· Shop at independent stores online.
· Tell your friends about your favourite finds.
· Support events in your local community.
Beating Hearts Agency is proud to be working with the following ARTISTS
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