Ban on serving alcohol lifted for live music venues in England

The government has lifted the ban on venues selling alcohol meaning many can now re-open

So today is the day, the nation is emerging from its one month lockdown, although many areas are in higher tiers than before they entered. Whilst this is unwelcome news for some, there are better prospects on the horizon – with the Pfizer vaccine being approved, and fast lateral flow testing becoming more common. Could the return of the rave as we know it be on the cards sooner than we thought?

E1 London in action just before the latest lockdown

One positive update for live music lovers is that those in tier 1 & 2 will be able to attend music venues in England from December 2nd and enjoy an alcoholic beverage. This comes as a huge sigh of relief for venues across the country, after the government’s initial post-lockdown plan included a ban on selling alcohol. However, there are some rules for these types of venues; alcohol can only be sold at ticketed live events, and obviously strict social distancing measures will still be enforced. It’s not quite where we want to be, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

The Cause teasing their new indoor socially distanced set up

The government announcement is much appreciated by grassroots venues that don’t have the ability to serve alcohol alongside a substantial meal. The Music Venue Trust, aka MVT have been particularly vocal about the impact of not being able to serve alcohol, as this would leave 92% of venues unable to operate profitably.

Mark Davyd CEO of Music Venue Trust, said:

“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.”

Words: Neil Ritchie
Cover Image : Orange Yard Soho

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