Clubs must remain closed as music venues in the UK are allowed to open under new government guidance this weekend.

Announced as part of the latest lockdown easing measures, the UK government has stated that while music and theatre venues can open their doors for live performances from this Saturday (15th), nightclubs and dance halls must remain closed for the forseeable future. 

The news follows the announcement of a £1.57 billion support package for arts and culture institutions which remained closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced details of the financial package, which included £270m in loans and £880million in grants for music venues, theatres, museums, heritage sites and galleries.

Shortly after, Michael Kill of the Night Time Industry Assocation issued a statement acknowleding a lack of specific support for nightclubs, saying that “whilst there is much to be welcomed in this announcement for many businesses, it leaves many in our sector beleaguered.” He explained that most members of the NTIA are unable to open at all due to social distancing, or will be financially impacted if they reopen with a reduced capacity.

“It’s as if the Government are letting us slip through the cracks between the various well-intentioned schemes. A VAT cut when you just can’t open at all is not of any help. Late night venues in towns and cities across the country are facing catastrophe.

“That will be a tragedy for the business owners, their staff and their customers. But there will be a consequential set of problems when people, particularly youngsters, are left with nowhere to go for music and social entertainment. Instead, we’ll see a further rise in illegal raves and street parties which present a new set of challenges. We renew our call on the Government. You have to help us more with direct financial support.”

In a bid to stop “unlicensed music events” which have seen a surge during lockdown amid club closures, it was also announced that the police will be given powers to issue fines of up to £10,000 to organisers of illegal raves.