The long-awaited return to normality on 19 July has finally happened. So what’s the plan for musicians and event organisers? As we get back on the microphone – are we ready?
Many people believe that things will never return to how they were before February 2020. The virus will always be present, and always in our minds. Perhaps on the performance circuit that may be a fair assessment, and one that’s probably long overdue. In the past, with acts using the same equipment and microphones, colds may have easily been passed on from person to person. But in a world where we rely on antibiotics and cures for minor ailments being readily available and effective, this last eighteen months has been a wake-up call. I envisage, in the short term at least, that singers will either continue to bring their own vocal mics or rely on venues sanitising house equipment before each user performs.
The Rule of 6 and indoor singing restrictions have definitely impacted on band and choir practice. They’ve also affected stage act preparation. Suitable studio spaces have been at a premium, with most village halls and pub back rooms forced to close. As a result, finding alternative rehearsal space has been almost impossible.
The music scene is opening up
On the plus side, the calendar has certainly started to fill up with events at bars and pubs, as organisers of open mic sessions and gigs post the return of regular dates at those venues which have survived. Since the return of outdoor events, with limited capacity and distancing rules, the success of the last few months has been varied. And, where the events have been totally outdoor, weather dependant. It’s now very pleasing to see the numbers of local events rising and festivals planned for later in the year. With a bit of careful planning and basic safeguards, these should pose no additional risks.
The open mic at The Boat Inn has now returned to its regular 3rd Tuesday of the Month spot. The next session is on Tuesday 17 August, starting at 8pm. The acoustic sessions at The Ale House Kitchen, Ramsey return on Wednesday 11 and 25 August, followed by the Whisky Bar session back at The Boat Inn on the 27 August.
Keep your eyes open for the details of The Big Bash planned for 12 September in Whittlesey. This will appeal to all ages and abilities.
You can find local event listings at www.outa-stock.co.uk/OM.htm
Words by Dave Bailey