Outdoor concerts in the U.K. are on their way back!

Starting this past Saturday, July 11, outdoor performances and festivals can resume, as long as audience sizes are limited and attendees remain socially-distanced. 

Said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, “Of course we won’t see crowds flooding into their venues, but from July 11 our theatres, operas, dance and music shows can start putting on outdoor performances to socially distant audiences. That means theatregoers can experience a live play for the first time in months at places like the stunning Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and music lovers can attend Glyndebourne this summer.”

He continues that this is “an important milestone for our performing artists, who have been waiting patiently in the wings since March.”

The lifted restrictions on outdoor shows is part of stage three of the U.K. government’s “five-stage roadmap” to bringing back the performing arts. Stage two allowed for performances to be broadcasted and recorded without audiences. If stage three, which also includes a small number of indoor test events with a very limited and socially-distanced audience, is successful, stage four will allow for indoor and outdoor performances with limited and socially-distanced audiences. The final stage will allow for venues to cautiously admit larger audiences for both indoor and outdoor shows.

Over the last couple of weeks, the U.K. has been rolling out new ways of aiding their performing arts community. It was announced on July 6 that the government passed a £1.57 Billion relief package for companies in the arts and entertainment industries that have been unable to operate due to the shutdown. Though the package includes business loans, it is mainly made up of grants, which businesses would not have to pay back. Said Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the time, “This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the U.K. can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”

A series of alternative concert experiences is also being rolled out. Live Nation has announced a series of drive-in concerts across the U.K. between July and September. The country’s first socially-distanced music venue is also opening this August with the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Supergrass, The Libertines and more already announced.

The U.K. has been seeing its lowest COVID-19 case count since April with approximately 650 new cases per day.