Live-streamed gigs exempt from England lockdown rules, Culture Secretary confirms

Though no audiences will be allowed

Live-streamed concerts are exempt from England’s new coronavirus lockdown rules, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed.

The second national lockdown came into action at midnight today (November 5), and is due to last until at least December 2. Bars, pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail stores have been forced to close under the strict new measures.

Earlier this week, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sports (DCMS) posted a Twitter thread with the aim of answering some “key questions” surrounding the lockdown.

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Dowden confirmed in one post that arts venues will be permitted to open their doors for rehearsals and to stream live performances for fans online.

“Arts venues are places of work, so people can come into them for work, if it cannot be undertaken from home,” he wrote. “This includes rehearsals and performance.”

However, Dowden clarified that “audiences are not permitted” to attend the performances. You can see the post above.

Many artists have opted to broadcast shows online in lieu of touring this year. Last month, Billie Eilish dazzled fans with her ‘Where Do We Go?’ live-stream, which NME hailed as a “bold extravaganza”.

Other acts to have taken their live shows online of late include Glass Animals, Sleaford Mods and Future Islands.

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Meanwhile, the Musicians’ Union has urged the UK government not to “abandon” self-employed artists as the coronavirus crisis continues to impact those working in the music industry.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the furlough scheme for employees in England will be extended, meaning that employees who are unable to work during the pandemic will receive 80 per cent of their monthly salary. Additionally, support will be rolled out for a third, three-month instalment of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

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