The new Omicron variant is adding fuel to the fire as ticket holders aren’t showing up to shows in huge amounts.
The Music Venue Trust requested “decisive and immediate action” from the UK Government after reports showed the drop-offs in live event attendance.
Not all ticket holders show up to events and that number is typically around 5%, but reports are showing that 40% of ticket holders aren’t attending their events.
“It was around 5% normally, but you’re getting as much as 40% no-shows for some gigs now,” artist manager Graeme Stewart said to The Guardian. “It’s an enormous problem, and it’s happening for anything that’s ticketed.”
The cause of the no-shows is the concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant’s transmissibility.
“Regardless of any restrictions or vaccination campaigns, the fact is that grassroots music venues are experiencing a huge downturn in the number of people attending,” Music Venue Trust’s boss Mark Davyd responds to current reports. “This real life outcome results directly from confused messaging by the Government and risks making the sector economically unviable very quickly. Decisive and immediate action is needed to address this situation. That action must include the immediate cancellation of the VAT rise and the suspension of Business Rates. Specific funding to prevent permanent grassroots music venue closures needs to be brought forward.”
The UK Government is transitioning to “Plan B” to deal with the pandemic. Plan B will require COVID passes in order to enter into any nightclub or gig venue. Boris Johnson said that the Plan B measures will be reviewed “no later” than early January.
A recent survey conducted showed that 39% of Americans have admitted that their health hasn’t improved since the pandemic.