TKTS discount ticket booth is set to close due to COVID-19 pressures, while the Netherlands relaxes its event capacity restrictions and Bonnaroo gets cancelled…
The Dutch government has announced that capacity limits on seated indoor and outdoor events can be lifted on July 1, as long as fans book in advance and undergo health checks.
The new measures include the continued use of the 1.5-metre distancing rule at all events.
Events that do not assume health checks will see their capacity limits increase to 100 for indoor venues and 250 for outdoor shows from July 1. Nightclubs and discos will remain shut until September 1.
The Government of the Netherlands said in its announcement that the situation will be re-assessed around September 1.
It said: “If the virus is still under control and circumstances allow, nightclubs and similar venues will be allowed to re-open. Experts around the world are currently working to develop coronavirus medicines and vaccines.
“Eventually, this should make it possible to lift the general rules, such as the 1.5 metre rule. However, as long as the virus remains among us, we will have to continue following these general rules. We must keep going. Together, we’ll keep corona under control.”
TKTS, the discount ticketing booth based in Leicester Square in London is set to close as there is “no requirement to sell tickets” due to COVID-19.
The move will leave more than 20 staff members facing job losses, with 13 contracted staff and 10 casual employees making up the TKTS team.
The Society of London Theatre (SOLT), which runs the booth, put forward the proposal to close due to theatres being closed since March and the likelihood of a slow return of audiences.
A spokeswoman for SOLT told The Stage: “Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, SOLT has seen a detrimental impact on business as income streams have been greatly reduced as a result of the enforced closure of theatres throughout London.
“The focus of the organisation has been, and continues to be, to minimise the risk of redundancies. The reduction in staff salaries and the job retention scheme have, to date, assisted with this, although there are going to be changes to the JRS scheme from August.
“After serious consideration, we have had to regretfully propose to close down the TKTS ticket booth for the foreseeable future as there is no requirement to sell tickets and in light of the above.
“The organisation has, therefore, entered into a consultation process with the employees affected by the proposal. We would like to confirm that no final decision with regard to those employees has been made at this stage.”
Earlier this week, the UK government announced that theatres and concert halls can reopen in England from July 4, though live performances will not be permitted due to concerns over transmission of COVID-19.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the news as part of a range of new measures, including confirming that the two-metre distancing rule will be dropped in favour of a “one-metre-plus” approach from July 4.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has become the latest rescheduled event to be cancelled due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19.
The annual Tennessee event, which welcomes more than 80,000 attendees each year, will not take place on September 24-27 after being rescheduled from June.
The festival has been rescheduled to June 17-20, 2021 and will allow ticketholders to rollover their passes to next year’s 20th anniversary edition.
Alternatively, fans can request a refund between July 1 and 31.
In addition, Bonnaroo announced it will host a “virtual festival” September 24 through 27. Those who roll over their tickets to next year will get access to the virtual festival for free.
Image: Anirudh Koul