At the Frank Turner test gig recently in London, one of the few mitigation factors not tested was masks. They had seating and table service for example but not masks. If you imagine your favourite small venue in Brighton with tables and chairs added you’ll see that capacity shrinks to near nothing. The venue owner at the Frank Turner gig said ticket receipts which for under 20% of full capacity didn’t cover venue costs let alone artist fees.
The government has halted test events temporarily and has stated that for cinemas from 8th August onwards, masks are mandatory. It doesn’t take much foresight to see that masks for gigs may be on the horizon.
Mask wearing has been patchy in the UK since the pandemic began for various reasons, many of which are spurious and self-centred. If masks as part of a suite of practical options such as increased cleaning, hand washing and self-distancing allow capacity for gigs to be nearer 80% which might allow them to trade at or near to surplus and survive, I’ll wear five at once.
To aid venues and the Brighton music scene, we all need to be wearing masks, unless medically exempt, as much as possible as we go about business. The choices are 100% of nothing or 80% of something. Be a masked hero or a maskless zero. You decide!