Majority of music fans embracing full-capacity gigs and taking safety precautions, survey shows
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 18/08/2021
More than 80% of live music fans are embracing getting back to full-capacity gigs, and more than half have already attended a show in the first month since restrictions were lifted in England, according to a new survey.
Grassroots music charity The Music Venue Trust carried out the research to find out how gig-goers feel about attending shows, what precautions people are taking, and what venues are doing to make events COVID-safe.
The live entertainment industry is one hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with venues shut for the best part of 18 months as lockdowns and other restrictions were in place.
Restrictions in England lifted on 19 July – but on the same day, Boris Johnson announced that people will have to prove double vaccination status when entering nightclubs and other “crowded venues” from the end of September.
Until then, different venues will have their own on rules on masks, testing and vaccine passports, with many staff and fans continuing to wear face coverings.
Some 1,891 people who regularly attended live concerts before the COVID-19 pandemic hit responded to the Music Venue Trust’s survey, with 82.1% saying they had already attended, or shortly plan to attend, a grassroots live music event.
Of those who have already been to a gig, almost all – 91.3% – were either double vaccinated, had natural immunity, or had tested negative. But only a handful – 2.1% – want to see certified double vaccination as the only mandatory condition of entry, according to the charity, which said fans would prefer a range of options to ensure safety.
As of Wednesday, more than 40.9 million people – or 77.5% of the UK’s adult population – have now been fully vaccinated.
Sky News spoke about the issue of vaccine passports to nominees for this year’s Mercury Prize at the launch of the award in July.
Arlo Parks, who tested positive for COVID-19 after the launch despite being double-jabbed, said she felt it was “important to do as much as possible to make sure that everybody is safe, it’s as simple as that”.
However, Ghetts said that while it was important to keep people healthy, he would not insist on it: “Not if it goes against their free will. I don’t want to be part of anything that goes against anybody’s free will. I think that’s wrong.”
Some 221 grassroots music venues also took part in the Music Venue Trust survey about the precautions they had taken around opening and the attendance at their events.
Of these, 86% are currently open and offering live music – equating to 817 venues, putting on more than 13,000 shows in the last four weeks, said the trust. However, 61.7% said turnout – from advanced sales and walk-ins – is down compared to pre-COVID.
Music Venue Trust chief executive Mark Davyd said the response from venues, artists and fans to COVID-19 has been “incredible”.
He added: “These survey results clearly demonstrate a will by the live music community to create safe spaces, to take personal responsibility for ourselves and each other, and to act to reopen every venue safely.”
© Sky News 2020