Guidance on Reopening

This advice has been updated on 20 October 2020. It covers general rules, advice on procedures and links to key documents you should read for each nation. The pace of change is now so rapid that, rather than attempt to keep the website updated, we have a document which can be referred to or downloaded if you are searching for a specific piece of guidance. This will be updated regularly so please refer back to it at the link below for any latest updates.

HM Government confirmed that all Grassroots Music Venues must be closed from Saturday 21 March.

  • In Northern Ireland bars serving food were permitted to reopen from 3 July. Venues, theatres and non-food bars are unable to reopen and no date for recommencing events is currently set
  • In England they were permitted to reopen from 4 July. Indoor events are permitted, with social distancing, from 15 August. This is subject to any local restrictions in place. If in doubt, contact your MVA Coordinator
  • In Wales they were permitted to reopen from 13 July (outdoor only) / 3 August (indoor). There is no set date at present for events to restart
  • In Scotland they were permitted to reopen from 15 July. There is currently no indicative restart date for indoor events



Risk Assessment

Creating a robust risk assessment is vital for any reopening activity (including activity not involving members of the public). MVT recommends using the following template:



Streaming, Rehearsal & Recording Guidance

MVT’s understanding is that some activity under this heading may be allowed in parts of the UK where live performance is not yet permitted (subject to local lockdown restrictions). If you are planning any activity you must consult your local authority.

To support you to consider the practicalities of such events, and consider whether your venue might be able to host such events, we have also created the following draft guidance which is based on the best information we have

This is a ongoing discussion document, we value your feedback and we would advise you follow this guidance for both broadcast and rehearsal plans

Read and follow MVT‘s own REVS Streaming Guidance & Discussion

It will also help you to read:

Then do the following:

  • carry out and document a risk assessment
  • communicate this risk assessment to all stakeholders
  • communicate that risk assessment to your licensing authority for confirmation that they agree you have met the guidelines. We strongly suggest that you request written approval from your licensing authority for permission to undertake this activity- aim for this as a minimum legal position
  • contact your Landlord
  • contact your Insurers
  • ensure any Licenses required are gained with relevant copyright holders
  • ensure rights to broadcast are established with performers
  • ensure no audience
  • consider measures to ensure that no audience is attracted to the recording such as ensuring volume is not enough to travel outside of venue
  • consider whether this will encourage contravening of other lockdown regulations such as people from multiple households meeting inside and whether this will class as work/furloughing of staff
  • constantly deliver all the steps within your risk assessment while open




MVT has been working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure that the guidance regarding reopening is fair and doesn’t penalise GMVs. This has involved working with other sectors and DCMS on draft guidance regarding Pubs Bars & Restaurants, Live Music and Performing Arts as well as checking available guidance on Shops and Places of Worship. This work is ongoing.

Opening as a Live Music Venue

If you wish to do this, you should take the following steps:

Opening as a Pub, Bar or Restaurant

If you wish to do this, you should take the following steps:

MVT does not claim to be an expert in running a pub, bar or restaurant. It is, however, important to us as a charity that you do not place your premises licence to act as a Grassroots Music Venue at long term risk because of short term decisions to operate as a pub, bar or restaurant.




MVT has represented the needs of GMVs with Scottish Government regarding reopening. At this point in time the most relevant guidance documents for venues are:




MVT is working with Welsh Government to ensure that the needs of GMVs are considered. On 15 September 2020 Welsh Government published their Performing Arts Guidance

Venues must also consider the following guidance documents:

Tourism & Hospitality which refers to a UK Hospitality document and also taking into account this and general guidance



Northern Ireland

Please read the Performing Arts Guidance from Arts Council NI.

MVT is working closely with MLAs with the goal of presenting our findings and support needs formally to the Department of Communities.

Current relevant guidance: