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Committee takes evidence on reopening performance venues vis à vis social distancing requirements

7 September 2020

Theatrical impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber appears before MPs on challenges to the return of live audiences.

The composer and producer Lord Lloyd Webber will give evidence to the DCMS Committee on the financial viability of reopening performance venues while meeting the government’s social distancing requirements. Evidence from the creative and sports sectors shows that venue capacities will be far below the level required to break even when audiences and fans are required to maintain social distancing. Andrew Lloyd Webber has urged the Government to announce a target date for venues to reopen without social distancing. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has estimated November would be the earliest date possible.

MPs will specifically consider how sporting events and live music performances can safely resume, including alternative plans to allow reopening of venues at capacity without social distancing. These include proposals for audience members to have to obtain negative Covid-19 test results to be admitted to live events and venues. The use of testing and digital ‘health passports’ to allow safe attendance at sporting events will also be examined.


Tuesday 8 September - remote participation by witnesses and Committee members 

At 9.30am

  • Lord Lloyd Webber, Composer and Owner, LW Theatres and Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO, LW Theatres
  • Melvin Benn, Managing Director, Festival Republic
  • Lucy Noble, Artistic and Commercial Director, Royal Albert Hall and Chair, National Arenas Association
  • Avi Lasarow, CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa, Prenetics

Further information

Image: PA