Guidance on Reopening

This advice has been updated on 12 May 2021. 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.

As we emerge from restrictions each nation has announced key measures for the lifting of restrictions. While 2021 reopening dates remain subject to data, MVT continue to share the most recent roadmap information direct with MVA members. It is imperative that members confirm with licensing and public protection units within local authorities and Police as to their interpretation of the guidance as it is announced by national government.



Reopening as a Live Music Venue

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

  • Read the appropriate workplace guidance for each area of your business – each nation has its own performing arts and hospitality guidance
  • Read and follow MVT‘s latest updates on Legislation & Guidance
  • Undertake a Risk Assessment
  • Communicate that Risk Assessment to your licensing authority and public protection unit for confirmation that they agree you have met the guidelines
  • Constantly deliver all the steps within your risk assessment while open

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.



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:



Revive Live

With the reopening of the live sector and following the success of #SaveOurVenues and Reopen Every Venue Safely (REVS), MVT has launched the next phase of venue support, entitled Revive Live.

This national campaign aims to both support and educate venues through training and guidance materials as well as promote the live sector to returning audiences and artists, increasing confidence in the safe delivery of live music events throughout 2021.

We encourage all MVA members to join up to the Revive Live campaign, to access the assets and benefits that the campaign offers. To take part please contact your local MVA Coordinator or [email protected].



Access Guide

When reopening venues it is important to consider the challenges that Covid-secure measures may present to all users of the venue. Attitude is Everything have developed their own best practice guidance and provide practical tips to assist businesses in meeting their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.



Covid-19 Mitigations – Recommended Industry Practice

LIVE, the representative body for live music in the UK, has produced the following draft guidance for reopening to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Entry criteria for the audience

  1. For venues with a capacity higher than 500, encourage every adult attending an event to provide
    Covid certification as detailed in 2.a below.
  2. Spot check at least 20% of adults who enter the event, with a higher percentage where crowd dynamic allows.
       a. Covid certification that is accepted is either proof of:

    • Full vaccination
    • A negative lateral flow test within the previous 48 hours (test to be registered on the Government website and evidence of this presented)
    • Proof of natural immunity following a positive Covid-19 test with isolation period completed
    • A medical exemption
  3. A solid communication plan to underpin these measures and ensure the public fully understand what is expected of them prior to an event & training for box office staff and security personnel on entry criteria.
  4. Queue management in place which considers other local businesses where appropriate, staggered entry and procedures for those who haven’t prepared appropriate certification in advance.
  5. Clearly documented procedures for customers unable to meet entry requirements.

Measures to reduce risk of transmission amongst audience at event

  1. Each venue should have robust cleaning protocols in place which factor in the reduction of Covid-19 transmission.
  2. Make the Government ‘Track and Trace’ QR code available at entrances to the venue and strongly encourage use of the system for the audience.
  3. Encourage the audience to wear face coverings in crowded or indoor spaces except where exempt.
  4. Encourage the audience to maintain social distancing where possible throughout the event.
  5. Provide multiple hand sanitiser and washing stations throughout the venue and encourage people to wash and sanitise their hands regularly.
  6. Communicate each venue’s appropriate measures in advance, at entry and throughout the venue.

Employee and working personnel

(including artists and non-professional performers)

  1. Detailed risk assessments to be produced for each venue or event to identify and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  2. Implementing a range of measures to reduce the risk of transmission in backstage areas such as encouraging all staff to take a lateral flow test at least 48 hours prior to an event and/or vaccinated workers operating in discrete bubbles.
  3. Ahead of arrival, all unvaccinated artists, non-professional performers and touring production staff should send proof of a negative lateral flow test within the last 48 hours.
  4. All staff are encouraged to wear face coverings whilst in the venue, except when stationary at their desks or behind appropriate screens, or if undertaking strenuous activity.
  5. Encourage all staff to maintain social distancing where possible throughout the venue.
  6. Provide multiple hand sanitiser stations and encourage people to wash their hands and sanitise their hands regularly.
  7. Where possible consider enhanced ventilation to reduce the risk of transmission throughout the venue.
These recommended practices were compiled by Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment and are also available in .pdf format.




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 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.

Venues must consider the following guidance documents:




MVT has represented the needs of GMVs with Scottish Government regarding reopening.

Venues must consider the following guidance documents:




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 consider the following guidance documents:



Northern Ireland

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

Venues must consider the following guidance documents:



Streaming, Rehearsal & Recording Guidance (All Nations)

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. 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