In line with the reopening of music venues, concert halls and theatres in Level 2 it will be possible for hospitality premises to have limited live background music in addition to the current arrangements that permit recorded or broadcast background sound in hospitality.
There are however some important parameters for premises to observe in order for this to be managed safely within current rules for hospitality and 1 metre physical distancing.
There are six key points of guidance for managing live background music in hospitality:-
- live music in a hospitality premises must be for the purpose of ambience background effect only and not focused entertainment, such as live bands/gigs etc. These would fall under separate guidance noted above.
- live background music in hospitality must not be planned or marketed as an ‘event’. Events may not take place in general hospitality areas at this time, indoors or outdoors, that are currently operating for the serving of food and drink and are subject to a 1 metre physical distancing exemption.
- the playing of live music must not happen in a way that encourages customers to sing along or leave their seats and engage with the musician/s i.e. to make requests or dance
- sound management remains important to ensure that volume does not interfere with speech intelligibility or cause customers to lean in or raise their voices above normal levels to be heard. The same risk based approach outlined in this guidance should be used for setting of levels for live background music in hospitality.
- sufficient space must be created for musicians and their equipment that is set well back from customers and away from thoroughfares, entrances and exits
- it is recommended at this time that live music in hospitality is limited to a non-vocal arrangement and minimal artists/players i.e. solo or 2 persons maximum, physically distanced. Typical instruments may include piano/keyboard, classical or electro-acoustic guitar, or other traditional/folk string or wind instrument. Where there is any vocal aspect to the arrangement additional mitigations are required, such as Perspex screen between musician and customers.
It is further recommended that in settings that are likely to become busy with lots of competing sounds from conversation etc. that they refrain from live background music at this time due to the likelihood of ‘drown-out’. It will not be possible for volumes to be increased above safe limits therefore the offering would be unsuitable in such settings.
For the updated guidance on background music, including live background music click here.