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Blighty Beat
LIVE INDUSTRY IN STATE OF FLUX
3/22/21

The U.K.’s live industry remains in a state of uncertainty with COVID-19 cases still on the rise in the country and throughout Europe. Experts are warning against foreign summer holidays, posing question marks for this year’s festival and touring season. Brexit brings another set of complications.

The U.K. Government’s roadmap out of lockdown marked 6/21 as the earliest date that nightclubs and venues could open; despite the public show of confidence, agents and promoters are still uncertain that shows will return this year, with tours being rescheduled constantly.

Potential barriers include the inability for international acts to travel into the U.K. and throughout Europe, and vice versa, under workable circumstances that make sense financially. If able to go ahead, this could result in festivals operating with majority British line-ups.

Today, umbrella body UK Council of Music Makers is calling on the U.K. Government to urgently implement a specific European touring transition fund while no bilateral agreements with individual member states have been secured.

A statement reads: "Music makers are being forced to turn down opportunities to tour in Europe because of changes posed by Brexit as it stands due to those additional costs. If they cannot work in person in Europe, this has a knock on effect on radio play, streams, merchandise, festival bookings, future earnings—they are not being seen, nor heard, and it is negatively impacting the business across the board."

At the same time, the U.K. Government is said to be considering using CoVID-19 certificates that would show if someone has been vaccinated and therefore allow them to attend large events.

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