skip to main content

MU General Secretary Election 2022 Learn more

Health and Safety for Live Performance Venues during Covid-19

A basic guide to what should be done in buildings or areas you are asked to work in during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last updated: 10 January 2022

These guidelines can apply to musicians, engagers, venue owners and contractors. Please note that this is not an exclusive list. For more detail, please read our more detailed guidance on what should included in a Risk Assessment (RA) of a live venue.

The decision about returning to the workplace or performing in public is one that only you can take. You must make sure that you take adequate steps to review any relevant guidance and come to a sensible decision based on your own enquiries.

It is a venue’s responsibility to perform a Risk Assessment, but there are also some personal safety measures that you should be taking into consideration.

The MU’s advice is for general guidance only and does not represent any instruction, encouragement or advice to return to or begin work. The MU can accept no liability for the consequences of your decision including any illness or other adverse impact.

Workplace measures

Please note that there are different legal requirements around social distancing and Covid-19 mitigations depending on which UK nation you are working in, see our Covid-19 restrictions overview for our latest nation by nation guidance.

However, workplaces are required to complete risk assessments with action plans to deal with identified hazards, including the possibility of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Due to the high levels of Covid-19 in the community, many workers not being fully vaccinated, and the risk of workers who are in contact with a positive case needing to self-isolate, we strongly recommend workplaces continuing with social distancing and other mitigations in the context of live music for the time being.

The type of mitigations we would expect to remain in place are:

  • Clear signage throughout the workplace to encourage social distancing and pedestrian one-way systems.
  • Regular cleaning of all touch points. Full facilities for personal cleaning with instructions (incl. visual aids) on use and waste disposal facilities.
  • Provision of handwashing facilities and sanitisers, particularly at entrances and exits.
  • Provision of adequate facilities (e.g. toilets, changing areas, rest areas)
  • A limit on chair numbers in refreshment and rest areas to allow social distance to be maintained.
  • Risk Assessments on any air extraction or air conditioning which is in use. Such extraction and conditioning systems are better, in most cases, than no ventilation system at all. Open air is better still.
  • Where limited catering facilities are provided, wrapped food, and only disposable cutlery and cups provided.
  • Rooms labelled to identify the maximum number of people inside to respect social distancing requirements.
  • The number of meeting rooms/spaces available minimised wherever possible.
  • An isolation area where those showing symptoms or feeling unwell can wait until they are able to leave.
  • Staggered start and finish times to reduce contact at work and whilst travelling to and from work.
  • Controlled and limited access for people visiting or delivering to your place of work.
  • Management of deliveries to minimise contact with other people whilst loading and unloading. Access for visitors/deliverers to handwashing facilities should be provided.

Travelling to your workplace

To reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 on public transport, seek working times that allow you to travel outside of peak time on the routes you use.

If taxis are chosen, those recommended are black type cabs that have a screen between driver and passengers and the passenger area can be cleaned easily.

If you have any additional concerns arise, check with your engager what action has been taken to deal with them.

Member benefits for live musicians

Latest news and features