Grassroots music venues in England will be allowed to sell alcohol at ticketed live shows when the current lockdown ends on Wednesday December 2, it has been confirmed.
The announcement by the government comes after the Music Venue Trust (MVT) spoke out against initial post-lockdown restrictions that included a ban on selling alcohol, which it warned would prevent grassroots music venues being able to deliver economically viable events.
The guidelines originally stated that alcohol could only be served as part of a ‘substantial’ meal, but the MVT argued that 92% of grassroots music venues do not have the necessary facilities. The revised decision to allow alcohol sales, therefore, identifies the purchase of a ticket as equivalent to the purchase of a meal.
We are delighted that we have been listened to
Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust
Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said: “Music Venue Trust alongside Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment Group (LIVE) has worked hard with the government to make the case that the consumption of culture and the consumption of food should be treated equally. If music be the food of love play on!
"We are delighted that we have been listened to and that guidance has been issued that makes it clear that ticketed events at grassroots music venues can go ahead in Tier 2 with alcohol on sale. It makes a direct difference to the number of shows that can be delivered and is a significant step forward in the campaign to Revive Live Music and Reopen Every Venue Safely."
Phil Bowdery, chair of The Concert Promoters Association, added: “LIVE is delighted that the Government has listened to our calls to allow alcohol to be sold at live music venues under the new Tier 2 restrictions.
"This announcement is hugely important for our industry as stopping the sale of alcohol was going to mean that even if venues were technically able to open under Tier 2, they wouldn’t have been able to financially. There's still a long way to go for the live music industry to recover, and the new situation is extremely challenging for those in Tier 3, but we're grateful to all those involved, in the industry and in government, for securing this sensible step."