A DATE for the reopening of live music venues should be set by the Welsh Government, an industry body has said. 

The Music Venue Trust has also said guidance on safely opening venues should also be issued after it became apparent that despite cultural venues being able to reopen amid the latest easing of public health restrictions live music cannot be staged, at present, in Wales. 

Though a limited crowd of 500 was able to attend the Tafwyl event on Saturday at Cardiff Castle that was a pilot event with pubs, clubs and other venues still unable to stage cultural events even though indoor hospitality can reopen from Monday, May 17. 

Entertainment venues like cinemas and all tourist accommodation can also reopen, along with indoor service in hospitality businesses as the country moves to alert level two. 

Up to 30 people will also be able to take part in organised indoor events and up to 50 people in organised outdoor events. 

Monday’s easing of rules will see Wales move to alert level two, with First Minister Mark Drakeford saying last week it was prompted by levels of coronavirus remaining low and vaccination rates being the highest in the UK. 

An open letter, from the Music Venue Trust, has called for the government issue advice so that live entertainment can take place and warned, with travel restrictions also lifted, Welsh audiences will simply cross the border to enjoy stage performances. 

The letter said: “The Alert Level for reopening these venues with socially distanced measures has been achieved, but live music is not being permitted and no guidance is being issued. Welsh grassroots music venues can be open, but live music cannot take place. Bizarrely, with the planned reopening of English grassroots music venues with live music, and the removal of travel restrictions for Welsh residents, from Monday 17 May Welsh artists can perform, and Welsh audiences can see live music, but not in Welsh venues.” 




The trust noted that Wrexham residents, where the coronavirus case rate is 4.5 per 100,000 people can travel 13 miles to Chester to attend events where, it says, the rate is 38.5 per 100,000. 

“The failure to deliver Alert Level 2 for cultural activities will simply prompt live music fans to seek it elsewhere. The outcome is that from 17 May, Welsh Government policy is effectively to promote the consumption of live music in England,” said the trust. 

It has called for guidance on performing arts to be issued including removing limits on wind instruments and singing to be lifted and for a date to be set when performances in Wales can be staged again. 

On Friday First Minister Mark Drakeford said nightclubs and live music venues will not reopen until July at the earliest. 

He said: “The virus thrives in indoor settings, it thrives when people are close together, it thrives when people spend time together, and it thrives in places where ventilation is not a particularly strong feature of the venue. 

“That’s not far off describing a nightclub. So it’s just inevitable those venues will come towards the end of the reopening queue. 

“We’re probably talking about the three-week cycle that will happen towards the end of June and into July before active consideration of those venues begins to happen.”