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Outdoor music events can take place in England from this weekend, government confirms

Indoor “test events” are also set to take place to help plan reopening of venues

Outdoor gigs, festivals and theatre shows will be able to take place in England from tomorrow (11th July), the government has confirmed. 

Open-air events will be allowed to take place as long as they have "a limited and socially distanced audience" Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said yesterday in a press briefing. 

In addition, several indoor “test events” are being organised to help formulate a wider plan for the reopening of venues. These events include a performance with the London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke's Church, as well as performances at the London Palladium and Butlin's holiday parks.

Dowden has described the move “an important milestone for our performing artists, who have been waiting patiently in the wings since March”. 

"Of course we won't see crowds flooding into their venues, but from 11 July our theatres, operas, dance and music shows can start putting on outdoor performances to socially distant audiences,” he added.

Limited capacity outdoor events will also be required to use electronic ticketing, and punters will be required to give their details, in case they are needed for track and tracing purposes. 

The government has also shared further guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants, which you can find here

This news comes days after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a financial package for the arts & culture industries, which included £270m in loans and £880million in grants for music venues, theatres, museums, heritage sites and galleries, to boost the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, no specific support for nightclubs or late night venues has been announced, prompting the The Night Time Industries Association to issue a statement calling for further clarification. 

It marks the third stage of the government’s plan for reopening the live entertainment industry. So far no indication has been given as to when stage four and five might be implemented, which will indoor performances with limited audiences being allowed.