Tate Modern was UK's most visited museum last year

21 Sep 2021

Data from the last quarter of 2020 has revealed Tate Modern to be the most visited museum in England last year.

The museum attracted 160,814 visits from October to December - whilst coronavirus restrictions were still in place - pushing the The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum into second and third place respectively.

Altogether, it welcomed 1.43 million people in 2020 despite the pandemic closing institutions for several months.

National Museums Liverpool was the only museum outside London to feature in the top 10, placing seventh.

Data collated by DCMS shows 1.27 million people visited museums across the country in the last three months of the year, a 84.7% decrease compared to figures from 2019.

NI venues press Executive for full reopening date

21 Sep 2021

Music and theatre venues are calling for Northern Ireland's Executive to end its one-metre social distancing rule.

The restriction has meant many venues are yet to reopen, with those hosting events saying they are not financially viable.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without a full reopening date for indoor venues, or the ability to operate without capacity restrictions.

Stormont ministers are scheduled to meet on Thursday (23 September) to discuss further.

Concert promoter Joe Dougan said: "We urgently need our Executive to provide a full reopening date, remove social distancing requirements, and allow us to plan for the coming months. We are confident this can be done safely”.

National Insurance hike 'deeply damaging' to creative freelancers

17 Sep 2021

The tax increase will be a "double whammy" for some self employed creatives, as income support dries up in October.

Vaccine passports put on ice

16 Sep 2021

In yet another U-turn, vaccine passports will become England's 'Plan B'. What can venues expect this winter?

Scottish theatre scraps 'risky' panto plans

13 Sep 2021

PACE Theatre Company will not produce a Christmas pantomime this year because it is too financially risky. 

The company's home of 30 years, Paisley Arts Centre, is experiencing delays to its £2.8m refurbishment and won't reopen in December as planned.

"Coupled with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty about any future restrictions, we feel the risks are too great to commit to staging a production this year."

READ MORE: Danger for small pantos as sales lag by £23m

It will not pursue an online panto either. Last year's production was only possible because of an emergency grant.

"Without this additional funding, the model is not sustainable," a statement from the company said.

PACE has produced the pantomime at Paisley Arts Centre since 1988.

The loss of the panto has left "a massive hole" in its funds and it is seeking donations.

70% of shielding musicians facing financial hardship

13 Sep 2021

The music industry is urging better financial support for shielding musicians after research found 70% are facing financial hardship.

Nearly 60% said they hadn’t received any financial support during the pandemic and almost 40% say they must continue shielding beyond the end of Covid restrictions.

Musicians' Union General Secretary Horace Trubridge said shielding musicians are being “left behind with no support”.

Alongside The Ivors Academy, the union is asking the Government to extend furlough and self-employment support for shielding musicians until they can safely return to work.

“The Government must provide clearer, accessible guidance, and ensure that this group of workers can access financial support to stay safe and not be forced to choose between going to work and their health,” Trubridge added.

Scotland says yes to vaccine passports, U-turns on mask rule

10 Sep 2021

The Scottish Parliament has voted to make vaccine passports mandatory at nightclubs, concerts and other large events.

The nation's model is expected to provide the blueprint for an English certification system.

Negative testing will not be accepted in lieu of a vaccine passport, prompting criticism from some Scottish politicians and health officials who say the passport alone won't prove whether people are passing the virus on, but will adversely affect businesses.

However, Scotland has removed a rule that performers within one metre of each other must wear face masks or use protective screens.

First reported in ArtsProfessional, the restriction provoked alarm among theatres and Creative Scotland.

The Scottish Government changed the rule "in response to concerns about the performing arts sector’s ability to resume work".

New guidance says the exemption will only apply when there is a partition or distance of at least one metre between performers and the audience.

"Because of the continuing risk of transmitting the virus indoors, these exemptions from wearing face coverings without one-metre distancing or partitioning should be the exception rather than the norm."

Reinsurance won't cover cancellations due to capacity limits

10 Sep 2021

Any reintroduction of social distancing won't be covered under the Government's £750m scheme, which comes with hefty premiums.

Digital didn't change arts engagement, study finds

09 Sep 2021

The digital pivot might have altered online attendance slighty but for most of the UK, "the new normal of pandemic life was very much like the old normal".

126,000 events industry jobs lost to Covid-19

08 Sep 2021

93% of organisers have changed their business models in response to the pandemic but a full recovery isn't expected until 2023 at the earliest.

Making content fully accessible

a sign with a logo of a person in a wheelchair, signalling access to a step free route
08 Sep 2021

The shift to digital has been beneficial to many, but Ash Mann is particularly interested in what it could mean for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people.

How useful are pre-pandemic datasets?

an audience waiting for a show to start
08 Sep 2021

Lockdowns, venue closures, cancelled and postponed events – the era of Coronavirus has created an 18-month crevasse in our databases. Libby Papakyriacou has been assessing the role of historic data in the sector’s recovery.

Festival visit sparks call for Irish capacity events

07 Sep 2021

Irish deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar has been criticised for attending a music festival in London whilst his government maintains restrictions on live events.

Ireland’s largest music festival Electric Picnic - cancelled this year due to capacity restrictions - was scheduled for the same weekend Varadkar was spotted at Mighty Hoopla.

The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) said it was “glad” to see Varadkar trust the UK’s safety measures and demanded a full reopening of Irish venues.

“It has been repeatedly stated and acknowledged by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister Micheál Martin) and the Tánaiste (Varadkar) that the commercial event sector requires 100% capacity to be viable,” the EIA added.

Ireland authorised indoor events to resume at 60% capacity and outdoor events at 75% on Monday (September 6). A return to full capacity events has been earmarked for October 22.

NPOs report decrease in carbon emissions

07 Sep 2021

Funded arts organisations demonstrate “flourishing” sustainable practices and falling emissions, despite a drop in reporting.

Belgium prescribes culture for Covid stress

06 Sep 2021

Patients diagnosed with Covid-related stress in Brussels are being prescribed free visits to museums and galleries.

Doctors at Brugmman Hospital are offering visits to five publicly owned sites across the Belgian capital, including its centre for contemporary art, a fashion museum and a museum of the city's sewage system.

“It has been shown that art can be beneficial for health, both mental and physical,” Brussels' City Councillor for Tourism Delphine Houba said.

The idea forms part of a three-month pilot scheme designed to bolster mental health during the pandemic.

Inspiration has come from a similar programme in Quebec, Canada, where doctors prescribe up to 50 museum visits a year per patient.

Danger for smaller pantos as sales lag by £23m

02 Sep 2021

A decline in group bookings - mostly from schools - is driving a loss in income that is expected to hit smaller producers hardest.

Nations press ahead with vaccine passports for events

02 Sep 2021

More concrete plans to require certification at large events come as research indicates the policy could put people off getting vaccinated.

Cross party MPs go in to bat for Glasgow

01 Sep 2021

Scotland’s Labour and Conservative parties are calling on the Scottish and UK Governments to agree a new funding deal for Glasgow’s culture and leisure services.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar raised a motion in Holyrood calling for further support for Glasgow Life, which runs culture and leisure on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

The charitable organisation warned it cannot reopen more than 90 of its 171 venues if it does not receive more than the £100m guaranteed by the council over the next four years. 

Glasgow Life lost £38m during the lockdown, leading to plans to cut 500 jobs.

Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells voiced her support for the motion.

“It should be a source of shame for the SNP Government that so many vital facilities and venues in Glasgow are under threat.”

Higher Covid rates for festivals in test events scheme

26 Aug 2021

DCMS says its Events Research Programme is proof events "can be conducted safely" despite thousands testing positive after attending festivals in the scheme.

59% of local authorities report budget increase

Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery
26 Aug 2021

English councils cite the ongoing recovery from Covid-19 as driving both increases and decreases in their budgets.


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