The West End

Theatre and Music fans in the UK rejoice! UK Music and Theatre Venues will soon be reopened.

August 1st

From August 1st, musical venues will be able to allow audiences back in. Audiences will at first be socially distant but slowly move towards 100% capacity. West End/UK Theaters closed down in March due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a statement, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said:

"The U.K.'s performing arts sector is renowned across the world and I am pleased that we are making real progress in getting its doors reopened to the public with social distancing. From August indoor theaters, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country."

The announcement comes with the UK moving into Stage 4 of COVID relief for the performing arts. According to Variety, Stage 4 includes:

  1. Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  2. Tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace.
  3. Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where lines form and adopt a limited entry approach.
  4. Increased deep cleaning of auditoriums.
  5. Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives.
  6. Performers, conductors, musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible.

While good for one-off performances, West End musicals and plays may have to wait just a bit longer. In a statement, Director of Theatres Trust Jon Morgan said:

"Alongside the support package and performing arts guidance announced last week, this is a step in the right direction, but for most theaters it will not be economically viable to reopen with 30-40% audience required under social distancing."

The news is a good sign for anyone in the UK who has had a needing for entertainment.

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