Starting today (22 July) drive-in entertainment can take place across Scotland after the Scottish Government gave the green light on Monday (20 July), signaling the first steps of recovery for the country’s event sector.
Live concerts, comedy nights, theatre productions and local bingo events are among the experiences organisers have been ‘reimagining’ right across Scotland.
The decision follows public health advice that considers the transmission risk associated with drive-in live events, where the audience remains in their parked cars, is sufficiently low to allow them to take place. Appropriate guidance and mitigations must be followed. Scottish Government guidance outlining the steps event organisers need to take as well as other useful resources are available here.
Other live outdoor events are not due to commence before 31 July at the earliest. Drive-in cinemas were permitted to resume screenings, following associated safety guidance, last week.
Today signals the first green shoots of recovery for Scotland’s events industry following a very challenging few months. Our industry has shown on many occasions that it is resilient and has great capacity and capability to adapt to any situation. There is still a long way to go and we will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government and the events industry to ensure a sustainable recovery for the sector from the impact of Covid-19.
The ideas coming forward from our events and festivals sector are both a sensible way to deliver live events and demonstrate that innovation thrives in adversity.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading in environments such as live events where a number of people are gathered together means, sadly, the format as we know it may have to adapt for some time to come.
Drive-in live events signal that innovative approaches can provide a first step towards recovery and can be the needed lifeline for our events sector during this time.
I would encourage our local communities and events sector to work together to be creative and consider the possibilities of drive-in live events – from music concerts and local bingo nights, to family theatre and a reimagining of some of our most loved annual live events.
This is good news and a welcome first step in getting Scotland's events sector moving again. The events industry has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to be one of the last industries to come out of lockdown.
Events contribute in the region of £6 billion to the Scottish economy and also make a vital contribution to the nation’s wellbeing. To ensure they continue to do so, the Event Industry Advisory Group is working closely with the Scottish Government to help build a speedy and sustainable long-term recovery plan for the sector as whole.