Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the performing arts and venues sector

Guidance for the performing arts and venues sector on safe re-opening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the performing arts and venues sector
Operational guide for performing arts venues and organisations

Operational guide for performing arts venues and organisations

This section of the guidance provides a usable guide for the performing arts and venues to follow to ensure that they have made minimum provisions for the health and safety of their staff, supply chain, performers / participants and the general public, where applicable.

In addition to the guidance in Workforce planning, it is acknowledged that the performing arts and venues sector operates across complex employment chains often working across organisations and venues. The guidance that follows is designed to be generic, acknowledging that there are sub-sector specific groups in operation, all co-designing more detailed and specialist guidance for the tasks at hand – orchestral playing, creative learning activities, dance, production, hair and make-up, sound and lighting, etc., all of which should be considered within the context of this and other Scottish Government guidance which must take precedence.

This guidance also acknowledges that often two or more organisations are involved in presenting a performance e.g. a venue working with a theatre company or an orchestra. Each organisation will have to interpret and implement this guidance in the way that is best for them to ensure the safety of their workforce and the public, but they will also have to negotiate any different implementations with organisations they are working with. They may seek to do this through contracts, negotiations or conversation. If organisations’ interpretation and implementation of this guidance leads to contradictory actions being required at the same time then these issues will have to be resolved between the organisations. This guidance cannot suggest that one interpretation or implementation takes precedence over another except where one is required to conform with a premise or hospitality licence issued by a local authority, or other legislative or statutory obligation.

List of considerations

The operational guide provides a proportionate and user-friendly approach to ensuring your workplace or venue is as safe as possible to ensure a safe and orderly return to practice or business. Not all actions will apply to all workplaces or venues but all should be carefully considered in terms of their applicability. They are grouped as guidelines for:

  • people involved in performing, producing, designing and supporting events
  • physical distancing in performing arts environment
  • managing audiences, participants and performances

First published: 9 Oct 2020 Last updated: 16 Oct 2020 -