Music Venue Trust (MVT) has called on the Welsh government to set a date for the reopening of live music venues.
Despite cinemas, inside hospitality and other venues returning to the country on May 17 in line with the new alert level two – and a limited crowd of 500 attending a pilot event at Cardiff Castle on May 15 – no official date for live music events has been specified.
In an open letter MVT has asked the government to provide clarity on the return of live entertainment in the country.
“The Alert Level for reopening these venues with socially distanced measures has been achieved, but live music is not being permitted and no guidance is being issued,” the letter reads.
“Welsh grassroots music venues can be open, but live music cannot take place. Bizarrely, with the planned reopening of English grassroots music venues with live music, and the removal of travel restrictions for Welsh residents, from Monday 17 May Welsh artists can perform, and Welsh audiences can see live music, but not in Welsh venues.”
Pointing out the potential problem of fans having to travel to England for live music, the letter continues: “The failure to deliver Alert Level 2 for cultural activities will simply prompt live music fans to seek it elsewhere. The outcome is that from 17 May, Welsh Government policy is effectively to promote the consumption of live music in England.”
On Friday (May 14) Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said nightclubs and live music venues will not reopen until July at the earliest.
“The virus thrives in indoor settings, it thrives when people are close together, it thrives when people spend time together, and it thrives in places where ventilation is not a particularly strong feature of the venue.
“That’s not far off describing a nightclub. So it’s just inevitable those venues will come towards the end of the reopening queue.”
Instead, Drakeford argued that such changes would more realistically be able happen “towards the end of June and into July before active consideration of those venues begins to happen”.
Last month (April 30) MVT expressed concerns that live music pilots were not reaching the grassroots venues that needed them most.
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