Outdoor gigs to resume in England from this weekend

They’ll need to use electronic ticketing to comply with ‘test and trace’ measures.

A crowd at a festival

A festival crowd from before the pandemic. Image: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty

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Outdoor gigs, including festivals and theatre shows, will be able to resume in England from this weekend forward, as long as they ensure “a limited and socially distanced audience,” the government has said.

Oliver Dowden, the UK culture secretary, said of the move: “This is 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.

“That means theatregoers can experience a live play for the first time in months at places like the stunning Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and music lovers can attend Glyndebourne this summer.”

Outdoor venues that do reopen will do so with reduced capacity, and be asked to use electronic ticketing in order to ‘track and trace’ cases of COVID-19 and contact anyone who might have been exposed.

This follows a campaign calling for better support of UK venues from the government, which itself was followed by the announcement of an enormous lifeline for the entire arts sector.

While outdoor gigs will be able to start returning, testing is still underway as to how to conduct indoor gigs safely.

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