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Music venues ‘should be able to put on full programme of concerts this summer’

A road map to ease coronavirus restrictions was unveiled by the Prime Minister on Monday.

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(Matt Crossick/PA)

(Matt Crossick/PA)

(Matt Crossick/PA)

The public should be able to enjoy a full programme of concerts this summer, according to the boss of the Music Venue Trust.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of the organisation which represents grassroots venues, said the sector should be in a position to bounce back despite the “enormous amount of debt” accrued over the course of the pandemic.

On Monday the Prime Minister revealed his road map to gradually lift the third national lockdown over the coming months and has said he hopes to fully remove all of England’s coronavirus restrictions on June 21.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

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(PA Graphics)

Mr Davyd told the PA news agency that while it may be “two or three years” until music venues have “fully recovered” from the effects of the pandemic, the public should expect a full calendar of concerts this summer.

He said that as long as problematic new variants or issues with the vaccine rollout do not arise then people can be “very confident” in the sector restarting.

“We are on course to bring live music back, to revive live, by the summer,” Mr Davyd said.

While Glastonbury has been cancelled for 2021, many in the live music sector hope other events will go ahead.

Big name artists including Rick Astley, Alicia Keys, Diana Ross and Gerry Cinnamon are among those to have concerts scheduled in the UK this summer.

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(Matt Crossick/PA)

(Matt Crossick/PA)

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(Matt Crossick/PA)

The majority of music festivals are yet to cancel and events such as Latitude and Leeds Festival are set to take place in July and August respectively.

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals trade body, said he thinks there will be “huge appetite” from the public to attend music festivals this summer.

Events taking place later in the year are more likely to be able to go ahead, he said.

“There’s certainly more cause for optimism in terms of some of those festivals… taking place a bit later in the summer,” he told PA.

Mr Reed said the “cut-off point at which they need to make a decision around staging their event or not is the end of March”.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said cinemagoers should expect to see a lot of venues reopening once restrictions allow.

Some major chains, including Cineworld and Vue, have kept venues closed during the pandemic even when restrictions have not required them to be shut amid uncertainty caused by the virus.

A number of blockbusters including James Bond film No Time To Die and Marvel’s Black Widow have had their release dates pushed back amid global restrictions.

No Time To Die is set to be released in October, while Black Widow is slated for May.

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(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Clapp said: “Over the weeks and months past the middle of May we will certainly initially see a large number of the major sites open, and then a large number of the smaller sites starting towards the back end of the summer, the early weeks of autumn.”

However Mr Clapp said he is not as concerned about the postponement of major releases as he was previously.

“We are clearly seeing a number of other significant film territories start to open up,” he told PA.

“That roadblock, where major films were not being released because there were no cinemas open globally, that appears to be being removed.

“The supply line of films, I think we are confident of.”

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