Urgent call for clarity to protect music and entertainment industry

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and chair of the Music Board, Penny Blackham, have called for clarity for the region’s music industry and entertainment venues, as the Government decides whether to delay lifting remaining restrictions on June 21.

Many nightclubs and music venues have had their doors closed for well over a year due to COVID-19.

On June 21 all pubs, clubs and theatres are due to be able to operate without capacity limits and nightclubs will be able to reopen.

The Government says it will announce whether or not that needs to be delayed on Monday, June 14.

Jarvis said: “Our nightclubs and entertainment venues need clarity as soon as possible. Vast amounts of preparation have gone into so many places to get ready for their reopening on June 21.

“Many clubs and music venues have already sold tickets and hired staff in preparation.

“While the Government may need to delay that date, given the worrying rise in infection rates, they must also ensure businesses get the support they need.”

Blackham, chair of the Sheffield City Region Music Board, added: “The music industry has felt the full force of this pandemic.

“Businesses are now hanging on by a thread and we need to get venues and festivals selling to capacity as soon as possible.

“However, we also understand that this must be done safely, therefore if a delay to full reopening is likely, it is critical this information is circulated as soon as possible.

“We do not operate in a world where we can just open the doors at a couple of days’ notice. An artist, a venue, a festival and all the production professionals involved need to know what is ahead as soon as possible.

“Equipment needs to be hired, trucks, vans and coaches need to be booked, deposits and fees need to be paid.

“If there is uncertainty, then no one can financially risk taking the necessary steps for re-opening.

“Any delay could prove economically fatal to the music industry now and the lack of clarity is making the path ahead very challenging.”