Green light for live drive-in events

First steps for event sector recovery signalled.

Scotland’s live event sector will be given the green light to hold drive-in entertainment from Wednesday (22 July).

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.

Other live outdoor events are not due to commence before 31 July. Drive-in cinemas were permitted to resume screenings, following associated safety guidance, last week.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“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.”

Peter Duthie, Chair of the Event Industry Advisory Group and CEO of the SEC in Glasgow, said:

“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.”


You can read the guidance online.

Organisers must ensure that any live performers on stage adhere to relevant guidance, including evidence on singing and use of musical instruments, and adhere to physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Other mitigating measures will include limiting attendance to one extended household per car, calculating the capacity to allow two-metre distancing to be maintained for both staff and customers, customers remaining in their vehicle at all times (other than to safely access toilets and food/merchandise areas). Customer management procedures should be in place ensure this takes place.

Organisers should keep a record of staff and customer contact details to help with contact tracing in the event someone linked to the event contracts COVID-19.

The organisers of drive-in events will need to consider all other relevant licensing requirements.

Read further guidance for event organisers.


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