Manchester-based promoter Kennedy Street and Lloyd Webber Theatres brought live music back to the London Palladium with three sold-out, socially distanced shows by Van Morrison.
Held from September 23-25, the 1,200-capacity concerts operated in a Covid-secure way, compliant with current government regulations and social distancing guidelines for audience members, and the staff, crew and performers.
LW Theatres worked closely with Westminster Council to make the shows happen following a successful pilot in July, which green lit Stage 4 for indoor shows nationwide.
Danny Betesh, MD of Kennedy Street, said: “What these concerts prove is that when the industry comes together, we can put shows on in a way that is consistent with safety measures and build confidence for the future. However, whilst we were delighted with the shows which were creatively successful, and Van was absolutely brilliant, theatres do need to be able to be open to their full capacity in order for concerts to be financially viable for promoters and artists.”
Live performance up and down the country can and must continue
Rebecca Kane Burton, LW Theatres
In addition to the mandatory wearing of face coverings, new hygiene and cleaning measures and the use of contactless technology across the venue, the seating in the Palladium was reconfigured to ensure that audience bubbles were seated at least 1m apart, including respacing rows in the stalls to guarantee a 1m distance in front and behind each group. The flow of audience members was also managed with staggered arrival times – as well as one-way systems around the theatre and signage across the building.
Rebecca Kane Burton (pictured), CEO of LW Theatres, added: “Seeing Van Morrison on stage at The London Palladium was a real 2020 highlight. Opening our doors enabled us to offer much-needed work to our brilliant team; as hundreds of thousands in the live sector continue to face hardship and uncertainty. We demonstrated that we can operate safely, and that people will feel comfortable, confident and, more importantly, excited to be back with us. Live performance up and down the country can and must continue."
A programme of events at The London Palladium is set to continue in the coming months, including evenings with Elizabeth Day, Arsene Wenger and a performance of Songs from A New World.