Return of live music indoors a ‘much-needed boost’ says Derry MLA

Indoor as well as out outdoor outdoor entertainment has been given the green light to return across Northern Ireland from Monday, July 5.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 11:52 am

From Monday, all gatherings, indoors and outdoors (not including domestic settings) will now only be subject to a risk assessment if they have more than 15 participants for indoors, or more than 30 participants for outdoors.

Live music will be permitted at licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses that sell or provide food and/or drink for consumption on the premises. This will be at ambient level only to allow conversation at normal levels and with suitable mitigations in place, such as screens.

Music will also be permitted at outdoor events with no restriction on volume.

Tony Marino from Italian band Jumpin UpI on stage in Granny Annies during the City of Derry Jazz Festival. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 04.05.19

The number of households permitted to meet outdoors at private dwellings will be increased from three to five, with the maximum number of people remaining at 15, including children.

overnight residential stays for children and young people across all sectors have also been given the go ahead from next week.

The Executive has also decided that from today, Friday July 2, the 5000 person cap on outdoor gatherings will be removed and the maximum number permitted will be determined by the risk assessment carried out for the venue.

SDLP’s Committee Spokesman Mark H Durkan has welcomed the decision concerning live performances, and says musicians have been the “worst affected” throughout the pandemic.

“It is great news for both performers and the general public that live music will be allowed to resume, with mitigations, indoors and outdoors from next week.” he said.

“This move will also be a boost for those planning weddings. Musicians have been among the worst affected during the pandemic so today’s announcement will bring hope to a sector which has suffered so much. While many have lost out on earning a living there has also been a huge impact on performers’ mental health as they were unable to pursue their careers over the past year plus, amid worries over money and the future.”

The Foyle MLA has campaigned on behalf of performers who have been left unable to work during much of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was not only artists who were affected, those who work at venues and in the live entertainment industry were also badly hit. From promoters, grips and lighting technicians to events staff, all will be delighted to be able to return to work.

“This decision will also deliver a much-needed boost to the public as a whole. Live music and the arts contribute so much to our lives in the North and are sewn into the fabric of our culture and society. People will once again be able to enjoy singers and bands on nights out. The massive contribution of the arts sector to our tourism industry should also be recognised and they will play a key role as our economy gets back on its feet during recovery from the pandemic.”