England’s live music industry welcomes new guidance on alcohol sales

The live music industry has welcomed new Government guidance confirming venues under Tier 2 restrictions in England can sell alcohol.

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) had warned post-lockdown rules stating venues could not sell alcohol would prevent them being able to hold financially viable events.

The guidelines said alcohol could only be served as part of a “substantial” meal. The MVT said 92% of grassroots venues do not have the facilities to provide substantial food.

The organisation has welcomed new guidance to allow alcohol sales at ticketed live shows.

Phil Bowdery, chair of the Concert Promoters Association, said: “This announcement is hugely important for our industry as stopping the sale of alcohol was going to mean that even if venues were technically able to open under Tier 2, they wouldn’t have been able to financially.

“There’s still a long way to go for the live music industry to recover, and the new situation is extremely challenging for those in Tier 3, but we’re grateful to all those involved, in the industry and in Government, for securing this sensible step.”

Mark Davyd, CEO of the MVT, said: “We are delighted that guidance has been issued that makes it clear that ticketed events at grassroots music venues can go ahead in Tier 2 with alcohol on sale.

“It makes a direct difference to the number of shows that can be delivered and is a significant step forward in the campaign to revive live music and reopen every venue safely.”

Ministers must review whether areas need to remain under Tier 2 or 3 restrictions at least once every 14 days, with the first having to take place by December 16.