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What Does the Government’s Removal of Plan B Mean for Musicians?

Whilst we welcome the lifting of restrictions in England, getting gigs back up and running isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. It’s also vital that we consult and acknowledge musicians who must continue to shield at home.

Published: 03 February 2022 | 1:10 PM
Guitar player on a stage, we can only see the body of the electric guitar and their shoulder. There is a drummer blurred in the background.
We recommend reaching out to your local venues and promoters and see if there are gig slots available. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The MU welcomed the lifting of restrictions in England as announced by the Government on the 19 January. Previous restrictions lifted on 27 January 2022.

Venues now have the right to choose whether to continue to recommend the use of face coverings and testing, and the Government are urging the public to continue with preventative measures in crowded or busy places. However, it’s not all good news for many.

Dave Webster MU National Organiser, Live Performance said:

“It’s fundamental that musicians can get back out there and start earning again and audiences can enjoy the full gamut of the live music experience, without the threat of closures and social distancing hanging over their heads.

“However, due to the restrictions having been in place, the Grass roots venues have already had to lose or postpone so many bookings.

“It’s not just a question of flicking a switch and the lights coming back on straight away. Venues need to refill their slots and are keen to do so.”

We recommend reaching out to your local venues and promoters and see if there are gig slots available. The Music Venue Trust are developing an availability tool which should be available soon.

It’s vital to consult and acknowledge musicians who must continue to shield at home

We are concerned that Musicians who are shielding are still unable to get back to live work.

John Shortell, the Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Equalities for the MU said:

“Whilst we welcome the lifting of restrictions, it’s important to acknowledge the many musicians who are still shielding at home, unable to return to work. It’s vital that as we move out of the pandemic this group are consulted and acknowledged in the decisions we make as a sector.

“The MU will continue working with The Ivor’s Academy, Help Musicians UK, Attitude is Everything and Connects Music on this issue to ensure this group of musicians are supported in returning to work safely and not left behind.”

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