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COVID passes ‘kill spontaneity’ says Parklife co-founder

Manchester-based Parklife festival and Warehouse Project co-founder Sacha Lord has said that the introduction of COVID-19 passports in England will “kill the spontaneity” of going out, according to reports.

COVID-19 passes were introduced in England in December, meaning that attendees to events and venues had to provide proof of vaccination against coronavirus.

Speaking to the I, Lord said: “This will kill high street bars and clubs where you make a last-minute decision and pay on the door. I really fear for them.”

Across the UK, commercial nightclubs make the majority of their revenue through spontaneous customers, with 75% of their trade coming from sales on the door.

Lord added: “People will still go on the ‘big night out’, but I think we might see them stay local and then, say six times a year, go for the big one they’ve bought tickets for and planned months in advance.”

The impending VAT hike from 12.5% to 20% in March is also an issue among clubs and venues. The increases include VAT on food and soft drinks, as well as entry to certain attractions such as theatres and concerts, which will affect the ticketing sector.

The rate of VAT increased from 5% – which was put in place in July 2020 to help recovery during the pandemic – to 12.5% in October last year.

Lord said: “Culture is the blood of the high street. To go from 5% to 20% VAT in six months is far, far too soon. It’s not sustainable.”

Image: Pim Myten on Unsplash