This Sunday, music lovers and industry professionals are planning to march for their Freedom To Dance. This rally is expected to be the largest industry demonstration ever in the UK. The aim of the organisers is to encourage The Government to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on the music & hospitality sectors.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently delayed the planned lifting of restrictions by another 4 weeks due the the prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19. This extension has put the nightlife & hospitality industries under even more unwelcome financial pressure.
Nightlife Under Pressure
Cameron Leslie, co-founder of Fabric nightclub, told BBC Newsnight last week about the financial pressures that a venue like his is under. He laid out the reality that a business such as Fabric, which has been closed since March 2020, needs months of planning to re-open. “You don’t just switch on” he said, going on to detail the struggles of booking acts & of course the need to retrain new staff in order that the business can function.
Night Time Industries Association
The NTIA, responsible for the #SaveNightlife campaign, have been pushing for The Government to support these troubled businesses financially and extend the current reliefs in light of the extended restrictions. They claim that The Government has underestimated and undervalued the importance of these industries, and that without help the only way to save these beleaguered sectors is to open the doors and allow them to trade.
“The Government has consistently marginalised our sector, we have had to fight for every bit of support and engagement throughout the pandemic. We have been continually targeted by the Government and excluded within every announcement. Our Industry is recognised and valued across the world, yet undervalued by our own Government.” Micheal Kill, CEO of the NTIA
The Freedom To Dance Route
The Freedom To Dance rally, organised by the #SaveOurSceneUK movement, will be departing at Midday on Sunday 27th June. The protest march follows a 1.7 mile route from the BBC building at the top of Regent Street down to Parliament Square in London.
As expected the delays to reopening the country are causing frustrations, but the organisers of Sundays proceedings are urging all attendees to act responsibly and safely to ensure an amazing day of music and culture in the heart of the capital.
Freedom To Party
This isn’t the first time crowds have descended on the capital to fight for our nightlife culture. Back in 1990 some of the biggest party organisers from the acid house scene converged on Trafalgar Square in protest against the Increased Penalties Bill for those in breach of entertainment licences, with particular focus on the growing tide of acid house parties… It seems the Conservative Government & raves have never seen eye to eye!!
More than 8,000 people attended the Freedom to Party rally including representatives from record labels, pirate radio and the press. Other rallies followed across the UK, from Manchester to Bristol, in the run up to the implementation of the Bill.
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