What are the rules around hosting live performances indoors?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government rules: live performances indoors are permitted for pubs but capacity restrictions apply (image: Getty/batuhan toker)
Government rules: live performances indoors are permitted for pubs but capacity restrictions apply (image: Getty/batuhan toker)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Live music, Health and safety

From Monday 17 May, pubs can host live performances and business events with a cap on attendance.

For indoors, this is expected to be 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity – whichever is lower – while for outdoors, this can be 4,000 people or 50% of capacity, again whichever is lower and events should be ticketed.

These capacity limits refer to attendees only so staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption and not counted as part of the capacity cap.

There are three requirements for pubs organising events:

  • Follow all relevant Covid-secure guidance (available here​) and complete a risk assessment
  • Adhering to all legal requirements including maintaining group sizes (as outlined above), prevent mixing between groups, enforcing social distancing guidelines and mandating face coverings in indoor areas where required
  • All reasonable action taken to mitigate risk or public health

Viability of entertainment

The Morning Advertiser ​has contacted the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to find out if performers are expected to wear face coverings but had not received a response at the time of publication. This article will be updated when a response is received.

When providing entertainment to food and drink customers inside pubs, operators will need to determine the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers.

This should be consistent with social distancing outside and within venues with other safety considerations.

The Government has also highlighted entertainment that is likely to encourage audience behaviours with increased transmission risk such as loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting should be prevented.

Space reconfiguring

This suggests should pubs host live music performances, audience members should be prevented from singing along or dancing in a group.

Entertainment spaces should be reconfigured to ensure customers are seated and not standing for example, dance floors should be turned into customer seating.

Customers should be communicated to clearly about the arrangements for entertainment and the Government suggested guests be clearly supervised with extra staff if appropriate.

Related topics: Legislation

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