Live-stream performances, rehearsals and more can take place during new lockdown, guidance confirms
While public performances will not be permitted, digital alternatives will be able to take place
The government has specified further rules for the newly announced lockdown, which confirms digital offerings are able to continue.
As per Gov.uk guidance, "training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)" will be exempt from the rules regarding business closures, while auditoria will be able to open "for the purposes of film and TV filming". Individuals and companies should take important risk mitigation measures to prevent the spread of infection during these practices.
The news was confirmed by the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden on social media:
For the arts/creative sectors this means— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) January 4, 2021
You should work from home unless you can't - exemptions include for training and rehearsal of performances, recording studios and film & TV production
Outdoor heritage sites and gardens can stay open for exercise
The news marks a difference compared with the original March 2020 lockdown, where many venues had to remain closed to rehearsals and the criteria for filming was far stricter.
Many organisations have benefitted from the government's £1.57bn cultural support fund – though a notable portion of the freelance community has still not received substantial sector-specific support despite a major loss of work.
A plethora of venues will be live-streaming shows over the coming weeks (with details for far more to be revealed, including Lambert Jackson's Leave a Light On series) including Southwark Playhouse.