Live Music Events and Covid-19

Please be aware that employers and engagers are legally required to conduct risk assessments for any event scenario, and as Covid-19 has not gone away, they are obliged to consider it as a risk and employ necessary mitigations against its spread. Mitigations will need to be retained, at least whilst Covid-19 cases remain at the current high level.

We, Abella Barn Dance Band, will make sure that we take adequate steps to review any relevant guidance and come to a sensible decision based on our own enquiries.

Remember that it is a venue’s responsibility to perform a risk assessment, although there are also some personal safety measures that we will  take into consideration.

Risk Assessment

A Risk Assessment will reference the medical and governmental advice and legislation. However, a RA needs to look at all the aspects being presented. This may result in conclusions going beyond the official advice (which is geared to the general situation).

Some RAs have concluded that the balance of risk against the need for the event to take place tips the balance over to the event not taking place. The RA must calculate whether the risk is acceptable. If the conclusion is for the event to take place, there must then be a plan developed to minimise risks.

This is all a difficult area and recognises that many of the problems identified are complex. This means there must be full and open discussion involving us and employers/engagers, and that this situation affects all those working whether musicians, support staff, admin or management.

There are some specific potential hazards for musicians such as:

  • Airborne transmissions – the aerosol effect.

  • Band layouts and stage provision.

  • Provision of adequate backstage facilities (e.g. toilets, washing areas, changing areas, resting areas) to ensure best safeguarding standards.

  • Air quality considerations – including extraction and/or air conditioning systems.

  • Interaction with the audience.


The basic health & safety for the area in which we would be required to perform is the responsibility of whoever contracts us. They should co-ordinate things with the owners of the premises (if different).

The Band will conduct a simple personal Risk Assessment covering our position, which can be shared with the body that contracts us. Don’t forget that it is the venue’s responsibility to share their Risk Assessment with us.

Personal health and safety considerations


Before the gig


  • We will clean any equipment that we will be taking into the venue, this will include anything that might come into contact with the public, other performers or staff working at the venue.

  • Change into our gig clothes before we arrive, as backstage facilities may not be able to accommodate the whole band.

  • Ensure we have a supply of wipes, face coverings and gloves to bring with us.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – the Government advises use of masks, face coverings and gloves in different situations (e.g. when using public transport). Gloves can protect against contact with surfaces in a work area.

  • Confirm our stage requirements with the venue taking into account the need for social distancing on stage.

  • Liaise with the venue regarding onsite technical assistance..

  • Liaise with the venue regarding the on-site ventilation system and ask for their Risk Assessment

At the gig

  • We will liaise and agree an arrival time with the venue.

  • We will ensure any venue staff have removed themselves from the stage and backstage areas.

  • Each member of the band will move their own equipment into the venue and performance area and set up. They will then remove any cases perhaps back to the vehicle or storage area backstage. When doing this we would consider the use of appropriate PPE e.g. gloves.

  • Each member then removes themselves from that area so the next person can set up.

  • There must be enough backstage area to allow social distancing, any interaction with venue staff must also be at a safe (two-metre) distance.

  • After the gig, the load out should follow similar procedure as the load in but in reverse.

  • We will ensure that before we leave, all items belonging to us are removed so the venue can clean the space we have used.

  • Once we have left the gig we will not re-enter the building.

  • We would appreciate that any payment due is done electronically.

  • We will avoid interaction with the audience.

Because, as yet, so little is known definitely about the way the virus behaves and, given the possible consequences of exposure are so severe, at present advice should be on the side of caution.

Compiled with reference to notes provided by The Musicians Union

October 2021