Frank Turner has headlined the UK’s first socially distanced gig and, sadly, it has been deemed “not a success”. The concert, which took place on Tuesday, saw 200 people attend a 1,250 capacity venue.
The BBC reports that organisers found the show to be unsuccessful as it was not financially viable. While punters were respectful and obedient of the social distance rules in place, Venue Manager Ally Wolf says it can’t be the future for venues.
“It can’t be the future for live music, it can’t be the future for venues,” he told the BBC.
Wolf reportedly told the publication that they didn’t make enough money to cover the operating costs, even before they’d paid the artists.
The show was in London’s Clapham Grand. As far as safety precautions went, they had guests arriving at staggered intervals, checked temperatures on arrival, and were instructed to use designated one-way paths.
Frank Turner said the show was a, “strange, emotional evening.” He also acknowledges that this specific setup didn’t work.
“This is not the start of a series of shows like this — that’d bankrupt everyone involved,” he wrote in a statement.
“But it was, as I say, a gesture of cooperation, an attempt to feel out the situation with an eye to taking steps in a better direction. But most of all it was a fucking GIG,” he said.
“I have missed that, for sure. It turns out, live music really, really matters.”
Recently, socially distanced gigs in the United States have been copping backlash for not being… not so much socially distanced. Meanwhile, scientists in Germany are experimenting with how COVID-19 spreads via concerts.
Brisbane’s The Zoo has reopened for its The Zoo Goes Anti-Social series of gigs. It sees two bands play to 100 punters. The series has seen Brisbane royalty Butterfingers and Bugs play some fire sets and has been successful so far — there’s some hope yet.
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Show 2499, @thegrandclapham – and the first proper gig in over 4 months. It was a strange, emotional evening, and I’m planning a proper write up, but damn it feels good to post a real show picture again. (Joined onstage by cardboard cutouts of people who don’t make much noise…) by the excellent @capturedbycorinne