The UK live scene post lockdown

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Caffeine_VampireCaffeine_Vampire Frets: 1431
The gigging scene wasn’t exactly in great shape before the lockdown turned us all into Jedi hermits, what do folk reckon are the best ways to breathe new life into it when the restraining order is lifted? Any new ideas to keep the beer money flowing?
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 4258
    @WezV How long do you think it will take to get pubs up and running again once the lockdown is lifted? Will it be a phased start up, initially with bottled drinks, with keg beer following once brewing restarts?
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 4885
    I reckon it'll go bonkers initially - trying to get punters in by any means !
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 10302
    Roland said:
    @WezV How long do you think it will take to get pubs up and running again once the lockdown is lifted? Will it be a phased start up, initially with bottled drinks, with keg beer following once brewing restarts?
    Totally depends on how the government decides to restart things.  We expect them to stagger it somehow

    But expect a couple of weeks to start getting kegged beer out of a brewery at reasonable volume again.  Some pubs will be able to start as soon as they have a delivery.  Some won't have followed advice to keep equipment working.   For some, this follows multiple closures due to flooding.

    Cider should be more reliable as it has a longer shelf life

    Bottles and cans should be fine as nobody is stopped from brewing.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1393
    edited April 3
    News from Shepton Mallet.. just been past the cider mill they are still working with loads ready to ship!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • CeeJayCeeJay Frets: 447
    Whichever way it goes, I'll be sticking to bottled beers for quite some time. There will be some very suspect beer lines which haven't been maintained. Oh, and I won't ever set foot in a Wetherspoons again.

    On the gigging front, I guess it will gradually creep back to 'as you were'.
    I had tickets to see Peter Buck in April. It has been re-scheduled to October.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 10302
    CeeJay said:
    Whichever way it goes, I'll be sticking to bottled beers for quite some time. There will be some very suspect beer lines which haven't been maintained. 
    Currently we have a load of people calling round pubs advising on the best approach to this.  They are having a 50% success rate on the first attempt.  we are doing 2 attempts

    Pubs where somebody is on site will be fine, but any where the staff cant get in will likely need all lines replacing after this, either from being left with beer, water of line clean fluid in them... they will all destroy the lines.  They need to do a full clean, and blow the lines out completely, then another full clean on reopening.

    News from Shepton Mallet.. just been past the cider mill they are still working with loads ready to ship!
    breweries are still going too, but they wont be kegging anything for a while.   Cider might be okay with its extended shelf life, but beer doesn't last as long


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  • rze99rze99 Frets: 570
    Anytime anyone asked me to join them in a Weatherspoon pub I found an urgent other appointment. 
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  • It speaks volumes that a post about the gigging scene descended into a booze discussion in one reply :) 
    The Inhuman Riff at Exhumed on Main Street

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  • the_jaffathe_jaffa Frets: 784
    My local jam night set up a facebook group for virtual jams, just to tide a few people over, but it now has more than 2000 members. I reckon this should have a positive impact on things once the restrictions are lifted as more people are becoming aware of what is around and hopefully this will translate into more people coming to events etc.
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 2351
    I expect things will be slow to pick up. The lockdown will be loosened but not lifted. China is having to lock things down again to keep it under control. I'm looking forward to being able to get together to rehearse and record but I don't expect any gigs for a while
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 4258
    It speaks volumes that a post about the gigging scene descended into a booze discussion in one reply  
    My fault. It was an attempt to understand the customer’s (landlord’s) side of things. Will they be so besieged with drinkers that they don’t need a band to bring them in? Will they be competing with each other because for fewer customers because people have lost the habit of going to the pub? Will they have any money to pay for a band?

    My guess is that, first off, everyone will be pleased to get out of their houses and socialise. So people will have more cash than usual because they haven’t been spending. Some will have less because they haven’t been earning. So there will be an initial rush, where pubs don’t need bands, then a trough where the cash runs thin and the attraction of bottled beer rubs off. That’s when pubs will need bands to help drag customers in. It depends heavily on how the lockdown is lifted.

    The question was:
    Caffeine_Vampire said:
    ... what do folk reckon are the best ways to breathe new life into it when the restraining order is lifted? Any new ideas to keep the beer money flowing?
    Presumably music pubs will be calling the bands they’ve already got booked, and filling gaps with bands they’ve used before. They won’t be putting on extras gigs because the money won’t be there initially. 

    Something I’ve wondered about is providing a full bill, with a support band, and entertainment in the interval. It starts earlier Than the usual 9:00pm, and runs continuously until closing. The supporting acts don’t earn much, but they don’t have to play for long, and they don’t have to bring equipment. To your average music pub that gives more value for their money. It might be enticing for pubs that don’t go for heavy rock bands.

    Assuming that the lockdown is lifted before mid summer then there is also scope for pubs with gardens having weekend events where someone else does the organising.
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  • sw67sw67 Frets: 155
    We play  few select venues that give us gigs every year so rather than book rehearsal time to get back up to speed might do a couple of free gigs to help them out. Depends on how long this lasts as i think people will avoid crowds for a while.
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 2351
    sw67 said:
    We play  few select venues that give us gigs every year so rather than book rehearsal time to get back up to speed might do a couple of free gigs to help them out. Depends on how long this lasts as i think people will avoid crowds for a while.
    Yeah exactly, I think people will be cautious about hanging out in crowds until there is a proper vaccine or treatment available, which means possibly towards the end of 2021
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  • horsehorse Frets: 878
    roberty said:
    sw67 said:
    We play  few select venues that give us gigs every year so rather than book rehearsal time to get back up to speed might do a couple of free gigs to help them out. Depends on how long this lasts as i think people will avoid crowds for a while.
    Yeah exactly, I think people will be cautious about hanging out in crowds until there is a proper vaccine or treatment available, which means possibly towards the end of 2021
     I'd agree. Once we are past 10k deaths, people have been shocked by what's happened with Boris, and there's wider understanding of how random and nasty the symptoms can be, even when restrictions are lifted a little many people may well avoid all but essential interactions, and avoid unnecessary close contact with others.

    Festivals may be "allowed" in the summer, but will be difficult to be profitable. Pubs may be nervous about spending more on band bookings than they generate in sales, and music venues will be more cautious than ever of gigs which may not break even - and that's if they actually survive the current shutdown.

    I was hoping for my best earning year so far from gigs, but can't see much earning potential now, and tbh am more concerned about household income and family health now.
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  • ftumchftumch Frets: 488
    the_jaffa said:
    My local jam night set up a facebook group for virtual jams, just to tide a few people over, but it now has more than 2000 members. I reckon this should have a positive impact on things once the restrictions are lifted as more people are becoming aware of what is around and hopefully this will translate into more people coming to events etc.
    My Jam is doing the same thing, what's yours called and how do I find it??
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2680
    edited April 12
    Sadly I think the live gigging scene is likely to be dead for at least 6 months. There is no cure to Covid19, and the UK incidents and deaths are still rocketing like crazy. Even assuming a peak is reached by the end of April, the Government has a huge problem re how best to take its foot off the lockdown.  It's going to be a very, very gradual staged process because as we all know, too fast and it will start rising all over again. Bands playing live music are likely to be pretty near the bottom of the agenda - before that you're looking at a staged approach to getting people back to work, travel within the UK, opening shops, and then hopefully restaurants, and possibly pubs etc.  
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5174
    Sadly the Artrix theater in Bromsgrove has ceased trading ... the C19 lockdown just killed the business . So that's the first after recovery gig cancelled for my KB tribute .... I'm hoping the other theaters can ride the storm otherwise we are thousands down each this year 

    The pub gig's I'm not so worried about. I'm very lucky to live in an area where pubs use bands to draw punters and are prepared to pay decent money. Most of these are Fullers pubs and Fullers have cancelled the rents during lockdown to help landlords ride it out. Judging by Facebook people are desperate to get back into live music pubs in my area, it's kind of a big thing locally 

    Festival wise we've already lost the isle of Wight festival which we were booked to play ... we are also booked at Victorious festival which is end of August so that may still go ahead. 

    The last 4 weeks have been the longest I have gone without gigging for 20 years 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andy5805andy5805 Frets: 10
    It's going to be a greyer place in general because the impact of covid 19 is the same on multiple sectors of society. This means colourful small independent shops mightn't be there but Amazon will be, it also means massive established bands will be there....but the smaller guys mightn't be. So it might not be about all of us - it'll be about the crop of new musicians that comes after this horrible period, along with some of us who have either managed to adapt or survive. 
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  • horsehorse Frets: 878
    I'm expecting the tribute and cover guys I play with to be up for playing for pretty much nowt, just to be out gigging (semi-pro, all have day jobs).

    I'd rather be playing originals in other genres if there's no money in the gigs tbh.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5174
    So Victorious festival in August now cancelled .... that's all the big festivals we were booked for gone now. During lockdown I've started writing a lot again and enjoying that so that's kept me busy. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • barnstormbarnstorm Frets: 237
    Danny1969 said:
    So Victorious festival in August now cancelled .... that's all the big festivals we were booked for gone now. During lockdown I've started writing a lot again and enjoying that so that's kept me busy. 
    @Danny1969 are festival organisers rolling over band bookings in the same way fans are rolling over their tickets?

    I only go to a couple of gigs a year these days, but the places I tend to go are small, dedicated music venues that don't rake in a great deal of cash from drinks. I don't imagine they make much money even on nights when they're packed.

    I saw that in Sweden some venues are still doing socially-distanced gigs with 50 people… I can't begin to figure out the economics of that. Given that there are only a few artists I want to see live, and given that opportunities to see them are limited, I'd be happy to pay significantly higher ticket prices if necessary, but I don't know if enough other people feel that way to make some sorts of live music profitable in a post-lockdown but socially-distanced world.

    Bit scary given that most people are making bugger-all from album sales. Guess we'll have to start buying a load of t-shirts?
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5174
    barnstorm said:
    Danny1969 said:
    So Victorious festival in August now cancelled .... that's all the big festivals we were booked for gone now. During lockdown I've started writing a lot again and enjoying that so that's kept me busy. 
    @Danny1969 are festival organisers rolling over band bookings in the same way fans are rolling over their tickets?

    I only go to a couple of gigs a year these days, but the places I tend to go are small, dedicated music venues that don't rake in a great deal of cash from drinks. I don't imagine they make much money even on nights when they're packed.

    I saw that in Sweden some venues are still doing socially-distanced gigs with 50 people… I can't begin to figure out the economics of that. Given that there are only a few artists I want to see live, and given that opportunities to see them are limited, I'd be happy to pay significantly higher ticket prices if necessary, but I don't know if enough other people feel that way to make some sorts of live music profitable in a post-lockdown but socially-distanced world.

    Bit scary given that most people are making bugger-all from album sales. Guess we'll have to start buying a load of t-shirts?
    Not in our case so far ..... I think at his stage no one's planning anything. I did see some pictures of a drive in gig in the states .. just like the old drive in movies but live band onstage (big stage) Where there's a will there's a way 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • Caffeine_VampireCaffeine_Vampire Frets: 1431
    Love that idea. Drive-in gigs. Genius. 
    The Inhuman Riff at Exhumed on Main Street

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 18315
    Love that idea. Drive-in gigs. Genius. 
    Unless you're in a covers band where frankly, your job is to sell drinks. 
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  • borntohangborntohang Frets: 14
    barnstorm said:
    Danny1969 said:
    So Victorious festival in August now cancelled .... that's all the big festivals we were booked for gone now. During lockdown I've started writing a lot again and enjoying that so that's kept me busy. 
    @Danny1969 are festival organisers rolling over band bookings in the same way fans are rolling over their tickets?
    All our bookings have optimistically rolled over to next year on the understanding that the smaller sites might not be able to offer us the same rates. For the covers stuff we're only playing for fun anyway so it doesn't matter, and for the originals it's in our own benefit to ride the waves out rather than cancel over losing a few points on fees. 

    If 2021 is a washout too then you can wipe out most of the UK festival season - the big boys have enough reserves to weather a year and most of the small ones have managed to at least mitigate losses, but a second year will likely kill the lot off from near top to bottom. Can only see Live Nation and Festival Republic getting through that really.
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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 639
    edited May 31
    I cant see the general live music scene picking up until at least Christmas, possibly into the spring.

    There are plans to open up pubs and such from July HOWEVER, social distancing rules will apply.  Only so many at the bar, seated at tables only - op possibly ordering drinks from tables and them being brought to you.

    Venue's generally rely on getting plenty of people in to pay the band.  a 2 meter distance/restricted numbers means they wont make the money to pay said band.

    so - my guess, pubs will open for bear gardens/food/drinks with those restrictions - but until those restrictions are lifted..... no live music as it will be uneconomical.  

    All depends on track and trace, vaccinations, heard immunity etc.


    Bigger music venues, outdoor festivals etc... there not going to happen this year.  Again next year from spring IF vaccinations/immunity is happening.
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  • ColsCols Frets: 1584
    The latest government advice has us covered:

     Venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission - from either the performer(s) or their audience.“

    Outdoor gigs only I guess.
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  • I feel like trading my rig for a karaoke machine may be a good idea.
    The Inhuman Riff at Exhumed on Main Street

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  • robertyroberty Frets: 2351

    Venues and punters are sharing this open letter with their local MPs via https://www.writetothem.com

    An Open Letter to the UK Government

    We are the owners and operators of the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues.

    Our Grassroots Music Venues are the fundamental foundations and cornerstone on which our world beating £5.2 billion per year music industry has been built for the last 60 years. Without our Grassroots Music Venues, there would be no Beatles. No Stones, no Led Zeppelin, no Duran Duran, no Sade, no Oasis, no Skunk Anansie, no Adele, no Ed Sheeran, no Dua Lipa. Our Grassroots Music Venues are absolutely essential to the whole UK music industry bouncing back at any time in the future.

    Our sector delivers training, rehearsal spaces, recording opportunities and career development to thousands of young people and are essential to our communities. We do not just support the next generation of world beating artists. Grassroots Music Venues are where people come together, where they celebrate, where they socialise. Thousands of cultural professionals get their first taste of working in the creative industries in our venues, including many of those who go on to work in areas other than music. Grassroots Music Venues sit at the very heart of our creative nation.

    Public Health advice is clear. Singing is a high-risk activity. Dancing is a high-risk activity. Standing close to other people is a high-risk activity. Being in a confined space for a long period is a high-risk activity. These are the four pillars of the live music experience we offer in our venues. Coming together with friends and communities to dance and sing with your favourite artists in any of the 800 grassroots music venues across the UK is the very core and purpose of why we exist.

    Last year there were more than 175,000 events in our venues that gave people the experiences they love and the artists the opportunities they need. Since 20 March there have been no events.

    This is because our sector has complied with the Public Health guidance. We did the right thing. We closed to protect our communities. We engaged with the government task force and we explored every option available to reopen safely and bring live music back. We understand that in order to protect the public, it should not be done until the health guidance changes and we also know that trying to do it is economic folly which would be financially ruinous; not just for us but for our entire sector.

    It is now time for the government to do the right thing.

    We are represented by Music Venue Trust, who have laid out a simple clear plan to the government of the support our sector needs to survive the next three months (July, August, September) and to recover in the future. It consists of just two steps.

    1. A £50 million financial support package immediately

    2. A reduction on VAT on future ticket sales, bringing tax in UK Grassroots Music Venues into line with our major international competitors

    These measures are simple, quick, effective and would prevent the closure of hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues. They are the right thing to do. We are a dynamic, innovative, and inventive sector. We do not need permanent government intervention to exist. We are not asking to become a permanently subsidised drain on the public purse. We do not need the government to step in and tell us how to run our venues. We need government to take two simple steps and leave us to work out how to do the rest.

    We need you to do the right thing.

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  • sw67sw67 Frets: 155
    edited June 25
    Booked 3 gigs for next year in a local pub. The landlord is a supporter of live music and has bands every Friday / Saturday as well as open mic nights. He is worried that social distancing even at 1 meter could destroy live music. He said that the fee might need to reflect the cut in capacity. We play as a hobby so took the booking but many bands i know would refuse to play
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