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Personal Safety Measures for Live Performers during Covid-19

It is highly likely that any potential booker will ask what measures you as an artist are putting in place to maintain safe working practices in venues.

Last updated: 11 October 2021

Please note that lockdowns across the UK mean that in many places, performances in front of a live audience are not able to take place. See our latest guidance on the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The basic health & safety for the area in which you are required to perform is the responsibility of whoever contracts you. They have to co-ordinate things with the owners of the premises (if different).

You can do a simple personal Risk Assessment covering your position, which can be shared with the body that contracts you. Don’t forget that it is the venue’s responsibility to share their Risk Assessment with you.

However, the health & safety measures that you are personally responsible for and may need to outline are:

  • Checking that you have no Covid symptoms – temperature etc.
  • Travelling to work and taking measures to protect yourself.
  • Precautions you took with any instrument or equipment you may bring ie fully cleaned.

Personal health and safety considerations

Before the gig

  • Clean any equipment that you will be taking into the venue, this will include anything that might come into contact with the public, other band members or staff working at the venue.
  • Change into your gig clothes before you arrive, backstage facilities may not be able to accommodate the whole band.
  • Ensure you have a supply of wipes, face coverings and gloves to take with you.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – the Government advises use of masks, face coverings and gloves in different situations (e.g. when using public transport). Gloves can protect against contact with surfaces in a work area. If masks are worn they need to be changed regularly and fully cleaned between use periods.
  • Confirm your stage plot with the venue taking into account the need for social distancing on stage.
  • Liaise with the venue regarding onsite technical assistance and agree who takes responsibility for plugging into the house electrics etc.
  • Liaise with the venue regarding the on-site ventilation system and ask for their Risk Assessment.

Travelling to the gig

  • If you are travelling in a car/van and collecting other band members, ensure you have cleaned the vehicle inside.
  • If travelling on public transport, the Government advises use of masks, face coverings and gloves when using public transport.
  • If you do travel on Public Transport you will need to clean any equipment that has travelled with you prior to entering the venue.

At the gig

  • Managing the load in and load out will take some level of co-ordination.
  • Liaise and agree an arrival time with the venue.
  • Ensure any venue staff have removed themselves from the stage and backstage areas.
  • If there are a few of you its worth considering a rota.
  • Each member of the band moves their equipment into the venue and performance area and sets up. They then remove any cases perhaps back to the vehicle or storage area backstage. When doing this you must consider the use of appropriate PPE e.g. gloves.
  • Each member then removes themselves from that area so the next person can set up.
  • There must be enough backstage area to allow social distancing, any interaction with venue staff must also be at a safe (two-metre) distance.
  • Consider using a screen in front of any microphone to avoid the transfer or breath vapour to audience or band members. Be aware of any effect a screen may have on those behind you.
  • Singing produces a wider spread of vapour than normal talking.
  • If you have brass/wind players, you no longer need to factor in greater distancing measures, but should continue to ensure that two-metre distancing still applies wherever possible.
  • After the gig, the load out should follow similar procedure as the load in but in reverse.
  • Ensure that before you leave, all items belonging to you are removed so the venue can clean the space you have used.
  • Once you have left the gig do not re-enter the building.
  • Ensure any payment due is done electronically.
  • Avoid interaction with the audience.
  • Advertise merchandise sales as part of your set and give clear instruction regarding purchasing, either physical or online.
  • If selling physical merchandise, ensure the purchaser only touches the item after the sale.
  • Try to use a contactless payment system.

When you get home

  • You will again need to clean any equipment.
  • Clean the inside of the car
  • Wash any clothes and PPE

Because, as yet, so little is known definitely about the way the virus behaves and, given the possible consequences of exposure are so severe, at present advice should be on the side of caution.

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