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Music industry welcomes confirmation that studio sessions and livestream shows can continue during new England-wide lockdown

By | Published on Thursday 5 November 2020

Recording studio

The music industry has welcomed confirmation that recording studios can continue to operate – and music venues can still host rehearsals and livestreaming events – during the new COVID lockdown that begins in England today.

Although increased measures seeking to tackle the second surge in COVID cases across England kick in today, those measures are not as extreme as the original lockdown in the UK earlier this year.

It does impact on the high street and means that those venues that had started to stage socially distanced shows must cancel any gigs planned for the rest of November.

However, workplaces can stay open for any work-based activities that cannot be undertaken at home, and it has been confirmed that that means recording sessions, rehearsals and livestreams can still go ahead in studios and venues around England.

On studios, culture minister Caroline Dinenage said: “Our world-renowned recording studios form the backbone of the recorded music sector, provide vital employment for musicians, engineers and producers, and make important contributions to our economy. The Prime Minister has been clear that workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home. This includes professional music recording studios, where work activity can continue in line with COVID-secure guidance”.

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden talked about how venues can still be used in a short FAQ session about the new lockdown restrictions on Twitter earlier this week. He wrote: “Arts venues are places of work, so people can come into them for work if it cannot be undertaken from home. This includes rehearsals and performance. Audiences are not permitted”.

Welcoming the confirmation on studios, the boss of cross-sector trade group UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, said: “This is extremely welcome news and an important vote of confidence by the government in the UK music industry and our world-leading recording studios. I am delighted that ministers have recognised the huge amount of work that has gone into stringent measures to ensure that our studios are COVID-safe environments where work can and should continue”.

Meanwhile, the confirmation that livestreamed performances can still take place in venues was welcomed by artist manager Ric Salmon, who has launched a specific business for staging ticketed livestreamed shows and which has livestreams upcoming involving the likes of Niall Horan, Kylie Minogue and The Vamps.

He told IQ: “Given the disruption everyone’s currently facing elsewhere, it’s absolutely crucial that artists, musicians, crew and all in the wider music sector can still have this outlet for work, and we can keep building what is proving to be a vibrant and long-term business that audiences love”.