'Incidental' live music permitted in reopened pub gardens

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Complementary music: pubs can host live music when beer gardens reopen as long as it is not the purpose of a customer's visit (image: Getty/Nutthaseth Vanchaichana)
Complementary music: pubs can host live music when beer gardens reopen as long as it is not the purpose of a customer's visit (image: Getty/Nutthaseth Vanchaichana)

Related tags: lockdown, Legislation, Coronavirus, Health and safety, Beer, Music, Live music, Entertainment

Live music will be authorised when pub gardens reopen as long as performances are complementary to customers drinking or dining, and are not the main purpose of their visit.

A number of licensees contacted The Morning Advertiser​ to ask whether they would be allowed to have singers or bands when their beer gardens reopened from Monday 12 April. 

As per step two of the Government’s lockdown roadmap, pubs can provide complementary live music for seated customers.

However, pubs must not charge for admission or admit an audience in addition to individuals eating and drinking, otherwise this would be considered a live music event.

Live music must be incidental to the customers’ visit to drink and dine at a pub and not the main purpose of their visit.

Events will only be allowed to take place from step three of the roadmap, when hospitality can reopen for indoor trade from 17 May the earliest.

What’s more, any live music must adhere with Covid guidance for businesses on encouraging safe socialising​ from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

No dancing

Pubs have been instructed to keep background music at a low volume so as not to encourage customers raising their voices, which increases the risk of coronavirus transmission. 

Customers must remain seated at tables, should stick to ‘one metre plus’ social distancing rules and should not be encouraged to take part in "communal dancing, group singing or chanting."

The Government has safety guidelines for music performers​, advising that “limited numbers of people sing together” and singers should be spaced “at least two metres apart in all directions.”

“Performance or rehearsal is for limited periods of time at a reduced level of loudness, using microphones for amplification if available,” the guidelines also state.

Related topics: Entertainment

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