The Big Question: As the UK recovers, What is going to happen to our Live Music Industry?

So we now know that from the 4th July, Pubs, Cafe's and Restaurants will once again be allowed to open their doors to the public, albeit with many precautions in place set out in the government guidelines issued last week to venues.

As expected, one of the restrictions is that, for the time being, there will be no live entertainment. But on Thursday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden published the five-stage 'Roadmap' for a phased return, which will initially let performances take place outdoors, with indoors performances to follow later.

  • Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences and adhering to social distancing guidelines).

  • Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes (adhering to social distancing guidelines).

  • Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience plus pilots for indoor performances with a limited distance audience.

  • Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (but with a limited distanced audience indoors).

  • Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors).

The problem we have with the 'Roadmap' is that there have been no dates published as to when it will be implemented causing the entertainment community to put pressure on the government for answers.

So what about our local Live Music Scene? At the moment, our bands, performers, soloists, duets, DJ's etc are getting desperate to get back to their local stages with the fees they charge sometimes being their only source of income. This puts a date for the implementation of the 'Roadmap' as urgent. Don't get me wrong here, nobody wants to rush into a hazardous situation and possibly be responsible for a re-introduction of the virus, but planning is essential. Our artists need to know when they can expect to be back to work and when to start preparing for it.

There is another question running around my mind, not only should we consider when our artists can return to the venues, but also when will the venues be ready to have the artists back? The lockdown has effected our hospitality badly with there being virtually no business for over three months. That sector also has to recover. I feel many changes may be on the horizon but, hopefully, we can all work together to get our gigs back as soon as possible.

As the initial date is publically released, ShapeMag will keep Hartlepool artists and venues informed. However, in the meantime, do post your comments here or email us at