The Music Venue Trust has revealed the results of a series of surveys during the first month of the full capacity reopening of grassroots music venues.
A total of 1,891 people who normally attended live music events prior to the Covid-19 crisis took part in an audience survey assessing attitudes about the return of gigs, including asking what precautions people had taken, or would like to see taken, around their visits to live music events.
The findings showed that 91.3% of attendees had chosen to take an additional personal precaution to support their safety; double vaccination, testing or immunity, with 36.8% of attendees taking more than one precaution. Moreover, 76.3% of people attending live music events are double vaccinated (compared to 61.3% for the general population) and 8.9% of live music fans wanted to see mandatory certification of health status as a condition of entry to grassroots music venues.
However, only 2.1% of live music fans wanted to see certified double vaccination as the sole mandatory condition of entry. A mix of mandatory certification options, displaying vaccination, testing or immunity, was more strongly supported.
These survey results clearly demonstrate a will by the live music community to create safe spaces
Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust
In addition, 221 grassroots music venues took part in a survey about the precautions they had taken around opening and the attendance at their events, while 100 grassroots music venues were selected, with case rates and transmission rates in their locality mapped, to explore if the full capacity reopening had a discernible impact on local case rates.
As for the grassroots venues themselves, 67.5% reported advance ticket sales were down on pre-Covid levels and 61.7% said turn up on the night (advanced sales and walk up) had also decreased, and 52.1% of grassroots music venues reported bar take was also down compared to the same period.
When social distancing restrictions were lifted on July 19, 39,950 cases were reported nationally, but four weeks later, the number of reported cases had declined to 28,438, with daily national case rates declining by 28%. In further encouraging news for the sector, in the local areas around a representative sample of 100 grassroots music venues, case rates declined by 39%.
Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust said: “The response from venues, artists and audiences to the Covid threat has been incredible. These survey results clearly demonstrate a will by the live music community to create safe spaces, to take personal responsibility for ourselves and each other, and to act to Reopen Every Venue Safely. It is particularly striking that local case and transmission rates around grassroots music venues, far from exponentially increasing as was predicted, have, in reality, exceeded the decline in rates witnessed nationally.”