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  • Stuart Barr

Step 4 on 19th July confirmed


Over the past few months, Out To Perform has been campaigning for government to end mandatory restrictions on the open air performing arts, particularly smaller-scale fixed seating venues. Our principle has always been that public policy should be determined by relative risk.


Lobbying Success 1: transparency

We lobbied publicly for the government to release the Events Research Programme report which it had delayed releasing. With uncanny timing it was released just before the Matt Hancock story broke! But we were delighted with what it revealed: in the pilots, outdoor audiences were 1/100 as likely to be exposed to other's exhaled breaths in the pilots as they would be indoors. Thus, we were ever more confident that arguing for complete Covid deregulation of the sector was the right path to allowing the performing arts to flourish in the safest way possible: outdoors.


We discovered a methodology flaw in the report, whereby the government appeared to be using ONS whole population data on attitudes to argue an economic case for mandatory Covid passports, rather than data specifically on audiences. We thus wrote to the Sec of State to urge them not to use this data as a reason for its introduction. Of great concern was that Covid passports would become mandatory for all performing arts venues regardless of whether they were indoors or outdoors, large or small.


Lobbying Success 2: deregulation

Over the past few months, Out To Perform has been campaigning for government to end mandatory restrictions on the open air performing arts, particularly smaller-scale fixed seating venues. Our principle has always been that public policy should be determined by relative risk – and that mental health and social welfare should also be included in public policy decisions on Covid, and not just physical health. The performing arts should be an important part of the nation's recovery, so being able to flourish economically is critical.


And so, as Step 4 happens on July 19th, we wish all our partner organisations the very best in their efforts to help uplift the nation this summer.