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U.K. EASES VENUE BOOZE RULES

Following lobbying by the live music industry, the British government will allow grassroots music venues in England to sell alcohol at ticketed live shows beginning Wednesday. Initially, post-lockdown restrictions banned venues from selling alcohol without food. 

Alongside the Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment Group (LIVE), Music Venue Trust warned the government that the new rules, announced last week, would mean grassroots music venues would be unable to deliver economically viable events, with 65% of their income coming from wet sales. Originally, guidelines stated that alcohol could only be served as part of a “substantial” meal, but MVT argued that 92% of venues do not have the necessary facilities to fulfill that criteria.  

“We are delighted that we have been listened to and that guidance has been issued that makes it clear that ticketed events at grassroots music venues can go ahead in Tier 2 with alcohol on sale,” Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said. “It makes a direct difference to the number of shows that can be delivered and is a significant step forward in the campaign to revive live music and reopen every venue safely."

The British government has announced a three-tier system for restrictions that comes into force after Wednesday. The majority of the U.K. falls under Tier 2 (high alert) and Tier 3 (very high alert). In Tier 1 and 2, venues are allowed to be open until 11pm, with last call at 10pm, and have either a 1,000 or 50% capacity limit, whichever is lower. Performances are not allowed in Tier 3.  

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