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Government Confirms “Incidental” Live Music Permitted in England from Stage Two

The Government has now confirmed a number of changes and extra details for musicians in its previously published Spring Roadmap for England – and we have updated our guidance accordingly.

Published: 09 April 2021 | 2:42 PM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:32 PM
White painted chairs set out with socially distanced amount of space between them, outdoors.
Wedding receptions will be permitted to resume outdoors, and confirmation live performances will be able to take place at these events. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Following a concerted campaign by the MU, the UK government has confirmed a change to its previously published Spring Roadmap for England – permitting pubs, which are potentially due to re-open on Monday 12 April for outdoor service only, to provide customers with complimentary incidental live music in beer gardens.

At this stage live music must be incidental to the customers’ visit to the pub. Pubs must not charge for admission or admit any audience specifically for the purpose of listening to the music. All customers must be seated and drinking or eating, and the music must be kept at a level low enough for customers and staff to converse easily without raised voices.

All live music must be undertaken in adherence with the Government’s guidance on Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

Incidental live music can be permitted at organised events

Similarly, organised events will be permitted from Monday 12 April. The Government's guidance lists village fetes, and community fairs amongst others as types of event that will be permitted at Stage 2 of their Spring Roadmap.

As with pubs, complementary live music will be permitted at such events – provided it is incidental to the customers’ attendance at the event, is not charged for separately, and does not encourage the breaching of health and safety guidelines.

Also, within the list of permitted organised events are “drive-thru” live performance events, such as theatre and live music. In this instance, audiences will inevitably be in attendance specifically for the performance and can be charged as such.

Live performances will be able to take place at weddings

Wedding receptions will be permitted to resume outdoors at Stage 2 of the government Spring Roadmap, and confirmation has been received that live performances will be able to take place at these events, in adherence with the government’s guidance on Wedding and Civil Partnership receptions.

Guests at these events will be limited to just 15 people, but staff and any musicians are not counted within this limit.

Non-professional ensembles can rehearse outdoors

Within the Government’s guidance on events, which was updated on 6 April, it was also confirmed that amateur ensembles such as choirs and brass bands are now permitted to rehearse in outdoor space in groups of up to six, in adherence with the Performing Arts Guidance.

See more advice on how the different Coronavirus restrictions affect musicians across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

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