Unlike pubs, bars and restaurants, venues in London are not currently allowed to open under UK law due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that in mind, a number of the capital’s most famous institutions are now finding ways to adapt to the current situation by making the most of outdoor spaces. North London venue The Cause has built a new, seated, outdoor space called Costa Del Tottenham, hosting DJs and artists Wednesdays through Sundays, whilst Venue MOT Unit 18 in South Bermondsey, London, has also gone from DIY raves to outdoor table service, with the venue even operating a recent social distancing night, titled ‘F**K 2020,’ in which the space was operating at 50 percent capacity.
Shoreditch‘s Village Underground in London has recently reopened as a seated venue under the name VU Bar, with limited capacity from Thursdays through Saturdays, whilst The Jazz Cafe‘s head booker, Ruari Frew, said:
“We’re still a long way off where we need to be, and it will be very difficult to operate financially but we owe it to all the people who make the live industry tick to give this a go. Our world is largely made up of freelancers, many of whom fell through the gaps of any government support. It’s crucial that we get as many people as possible working again in a safe environment. Although it’s not sustainable in the medium or long-term, for now it’s exciting to have musicians on stage in front of an audience, engineers in booths and bar staff serving drinks again.”
The pandemic has certainly proved a huge disruption to many of London’s biggest and most iconic venues, with clubs like Ministry of Sound unable to open to the public since lockdown restrictions were first enforced back in March of this year. With the industry still steering across the choppy waters of these uncertain times, we can only hope that all those whose livelihoods revolve around arts and entertainments are able to resume their lives with minimal drama sometime soon as the search for a Coronavirus vaccine hots up worldwide.
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