The Covid-19 pandemic sounded the end of fun. The end of freedom. The end of community. Life as we knew it ground to a halt. It was March 2020. Overnight everything shut down and the hospitality and travel sectors were hit the hardest. They party was done. Finished. Finito.
For many of us what was hardest was having our culture, our escapism, our passion snatched away. It wasn’t that wearing a mask whenever buying a loaf of bread or keeping your ‘social distance’ was a problem, it was our freedom to express ourselves that stung the most.
Some demonstrated passionately against lockdown restrictions, but realistically speaking, what did they think would happen? That nightclubs, bars, pubs and restaurants would re-open? That the borders would too, and they’d be able to hop on a plane to Ibiza or Bali.
Nah, that was never going to happen. We were playing the long game – and in many ways, we still are.
As it stands, May 17th isn’t too far away. After this, more restrictions will be eased allowing everyone to make their own choice about how much social contact they’re comfortable with. Some indoor entertainment venues will fully reopen at half-full capacity.
Fast-forward to 21st June and nightclubs will re-open. Pilot events will be run throughout the spring and summer to trial methods of cutting the risk of infection. Information about this is sketchy at best right now, but the good news is that we have a roadmap.
News on the reopening of nightclubs is expected imminently. As Sasha tweeted on 27th April:
‘We were informed a ruling would be made (on 19th April.)
We have now been informed (that) a High Court judge was not available last week, and it is now, at last, sat with him.
Expecting news imminently.
Every day counts. Data. NOT dates.’
The last 14 months have been brutal on the hospitality sector, but at last, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. However, uncertainty lingers. Ever tried to social distance at a party?
What Will Clubbing Look Like
When the scene re-opens, hand sanitisers and facemasks will likely be permanent fixtures in clubs up and down the UK as will venue check-in using the NHS Covid-19 app.
Table service at some venues could become the norm. Surfaces will be wiped religiously as will toilet facilities. Venue deep cleaning will become more important than ever. Perspex screens could be added to bars to shield patrons and bar staff… and the distinctly British activity of queueing will be in full force.
The days of resting elbow, arm or palm on the bar, touching the sticky remnants of umpteen different people’s drinks will be long gone!
The bottom line is that it’s up to the venue to decide on their own protocols in accordance with government guidelines. But you can bet your life that they’ll follow what the government says – they’ll have to – to survive.
What About International Travel?
It’s off the agenda for the moment. However, more than 46 million of the over 50’s and those considered to be the most at risk have had the jab. That’s 95% of people. This is massive. The UK has the best vaccine record in Europe. Get in!
Travel corridors for everyone who doesn’t have a permitted reason under the Covid guidelines will reopen. It’s just a matter of time. Whilst it might be a mite ambitious to book a flight to Ibiza or Bali for next week, things are going well, and it won’t be too long before you’ll be able to rock up to San Raphael and head on down to Amnesia.
However, it’s not the bigger acts, those headlining Amnesia, that Covid has knocked the stuffing out of. The likes of Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and David Guetta will still be around long after the pandemic. It’s the smaller local, regional acts. It’s the scenes in Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol. The venues that reply on the money house and techno nights bring in. It’s the promoters and artists who are looking to build their brand. They have suffered.
Let’s do something about that. Right now, we have an opportunity to support each other. To be stronger than any restrictions any virus can put on us. We can champion local artists, promoters, events. We can emerge victorious – united as one.
Covid has been crap. But here we are. More than twelve months on and we’ve weathered the storm and, in many ways, come out stronger.
Communities have banded together. Relationships have become stronger. Passions deepened. In spite of the lockdown, music has continued to bring us together. That should be celebrated.