The UKs day of freedom is just around the corner. According to the UK Covid road map, everything is set reopen on June 21st. Clubs, events and festivals are all due to go ahead from this magical date and many events have already sold out their tickets. But with the recent Covid variants coming in from India, Brazil and South Africa, the government have been in talks about delaying this date. What would that mean for the entertainment industry? Despite events and clubs being shut for 15 months, we will have to wait longer as Boris Johnson has just announced all reopening will be pushed back by four weeks, taking us to July 19th – The new date we have to look forward to!
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) plan to push back against this new ruling. The NTIA boss, Michael Kill shares with Morning Advisor, “Many [clubs] have not survived, some are on the cliff edge, hundreds of thousand of jobs have been lost, a huge pool of talent has been swept away and left to suffer extreme financial hardship” (Morning Advisor). With basically no warning about this delay, many businesses have already made financial commitments with little financial support assisting with the once again, cancelled events. NTIA has vowed to challenge the delay and purse legal action. Their statistics show 9 out of 10 venues fear this delay will “threaten their survival” and “95% have already ordered perishable stock”.
Picnic records preemptively announced the cancellation of Someplace, Somewhere 2021 with that expected to be held on July 16th. But with only a month to go and no confirmation whether plans will go ahead until last minute, they could not take the financial risk of cancelling once again. This delay has sparked widespread criticism that despite the all the variants and the possible testing options to ensure safety, the Euros football matches are still going ahead with 20,000 people filling Wembley stadium. What makes football more important than the music industry?
Delaying this date just one week before the expected reopening leaves no support for these businesses. This delay will come as a major hit to the entertainment industry. Tickets will have to be refunded and some festivals are not expected to survive. The nail in the coffin to this already difficult year. If this delay was going to happen, we should have been informed sooner, and not guaranteed this date so many months ago. The restrictions will be reviewed again in two weeks time, on July 5th.
Words by Gabrielle Runzer