PublishedThu, 20 Jan 2022, 21:55
- Regular updates on how the pandemic is impacting the electronic music industry.
As cases of the Covid-19 variant Omicron soar worldwide, here's a summary of how the pandemic continues to impact clubs, festivals, promoters and the electronic music scene at large.
• France will reopen clubs on February 16th
• Ibiza's clubs are set to resume business in April
• Several regions in Japan, including Tokyo, have unveiled new nightlife restrictions
Last updated: 9:55 PM GMT, January 20th
Thursday, January 20th
• Clubs will be allowed to reopen on February 16th after being closed since December, prime minister Jean Castex has announced. From February 2nd onwards, face masks will also no longer be required outside.
• Ibiza is expected to ease nightlife restrictions towards the end of April, Diario De Ibiza reports. The media outlet cited a statement by José Luis Benítez, manager of Ocio de Ibiza, a non-profit association focused on the island's night-time economy, who said April's estimated reopening will be two weeks earlier than usual for the season. He expects business to continue until October or November. Currently, clubs are subject to capacity limits and a curfew.
• The province of Catalonia will lift its nighttime curfew on January 21st. The curfew was introduced on Christmas Eve. Nightlife venues, however, remain closed. A ten-person limit on social gatherings and capacity limits in restaurants also remain in place.
• Starting January 21st, Tokyo restaurants and bars must choose between two scenarios. One is closing at 9 PM and ending alcohol sales by 8 PM. The second is stopping alcohol sales all together and closing by 8 PM with extra financial compensation. Other regions around the country have introduced similar rules.
• Starting January 21st, proof of full vaccination will be required to enter bars and nightclubs, as per the latest rules. Nightlife reopened in November last year following a six-month period of closure.
• Artists and various music industry professionals are eligible to apply for grants between €1,500 and €12,500 from the government. The 2022 edition of the Music And Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme is open to "self-employed performers, sole traders and businesses in the music industry with turnovers of €15,000," according to the website.
• The state of Ontario plans to allow restaurants and other indoor recreational facilities such as theatres to open at 50 percent capacity by the end of the month, local newspaper Toronto Star has reported. Nightlife businesses, however, aren't expected to be included in this new rule. Currently, bars and clubs have a 50 percent capacity limit and must stop selling alcohol after 10 PM and close by 11 PM.
• In the province of British Columbia, event venues, bars, nightclubs and lounges that were ordered to close earlier this month are now eligible for grants of up to $20,000, according to the Ministry Of Jobs, Economic Recovery And Innovation.
Wednesday, January 19th
• Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that the current Plan B restrictions will end on January 26th. This means no more compulsory entry requirements for clubs and venues, as well as the end of the mask mandate on public transport or in shops.
Also, as of March 24th, anyone testing positive for Covid-19 will no longer have to self-isolate. Johnson said this date could even be brought forward.
Tuesday, January 18th
• Starting January 28th, nightclubs can reopen after being shut for more than a month. The current six-person limit for gatherings in pubs and restaurants will also be lifted.
• Nightclubs have been given the green light to reopen from January 24th onwards, officials announced today, January 18th. Venues have been closed since December 27th.
• Current restrictions under the country's Plan B program, which requires proof of vaccination or a negative test result to enter nightclubs, may be lifted later this month, according to The Telegraph.
• At least 16 regions, including Tokyo, Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima, could be hit with fresh social restrictions as early as this week, the Associated Press has reported. No further details are known except that the new measures may be in place for three weeks.
• Nightclubs and bars in the province of British Columbia will remain closed for an indefinite period, health authorities announced on January 17th. The rule was due to expire on January 18th.
• The Nordic country has eased rules for indoor cultural venues, allowing up to 1,500 people in cinemas, theatres, museums and concert venues as of January 16th. Restrictions on nightlife, though, remain in place until January 31st.
At a press briefing last week, health minister Magnus Heunicke suggested that deadline could get extended.
• Certain non-essential businesses, including retail stores and gyms, reopened last week, but bars, restaurants and cultural venues remain closed until January 25th, prime minister Mark Rutte announced on January 14th.
Tuesday, January 11th
• BPM Festival has been postponed one day before it was due to begin after the government placed a ban on mass events between January 11th and 23rd. The new restrictions also include a night-time curfew and capacity limits on public transport.
Monday, January 10th
• The state of Quintana Roo has returned to yellow-tier restrictions, which means the closure of bars and nightclubs and caps on capacity at other public events. Departure Festival, which was due to take place in Playa Del Carmen from January 7th through 11th, was forced to cancel on the day of the event, with many punters having already arrived onsite.
Quintana Roo is one of nine states currently in yellow, with a further three in orange and the rest in green. None, as of January 9th, are in red, the most serious level. Last week, Mexico passed 300,000 test-confirmed Covid-19 deaths, according to the Guardian.
• In Victoria, the state home to Melbourne, indoor dance floors will close in all hospitality venues from 11:59 PM on Wednesday, January 12th. Weddings are exempt.
Friday, January 7th
• In New South Wales, singing and dancing is banned in all hospitality venues, including clubs, until at least January 27th. Last Friday, NSW recorded 39,000 new cases of Covid-19.
The new rules have caused a fresh wave of cancellations in the club scene. Read this frustrated post from Sydney promoter Nerve.
Thursday, January 6th
• Nightclubs nationwide can reopen on January 14th. A negative test result will be required for entry. Venues have been shut since Christmas.
• Starting January 7th, bars, nightclubs and performance venues will be shut for two weeks while restaurants must follow a 6 PM curfew as the city experiences a fifth wave of Covid-19 infections.
• Proof of vaccination will soon be mandatory to enter restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues as part of a new rule. A negative test will no longer be sufficient.
• Hopkins Creek, an annual festival in the state of Victoria, has postponed its 2022 edition. Originally scheduled for February 25th to 28th, it will now take place from March 18 to 20th.
• Victoria's government has introduced capacity limits—one person per 2 square metres—for indoor hospitality and entertainment venues. The state is also encouraging indoor dance floors to close, according to health minister Martin Foley.
• Melbourne's Sub Club will be closed this coming weekend due to infections among artists and staff.
• Melbourne label Animals Dancing is postponing a January 8th party featuring Tornado Wallace. A future date will be announced soon.
• On Friday, January 7th, health officials are expected to announce a decision on plans to reopen nightclubs by mid-January.
Tuesday, January 4th
• Indoor concert venues and bars in Toronto will be shut from January 5th through 21st as part of new restrictions.
• Nightclubs nationwide are unlikely to get the green light to open on January 16th, the expected reopening date, the Public Health Ministry's permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongjit told local outlet Daily News.
• Live music venues across the nation won't be allowed to operate from January 3rd to January 15th due to rising cases, according to the latest rules.
• New York City's nightlife workers are eligible to claim $500 under an emergency grant provided by local non-profit Nightlife United.
• In Puerto Rico, where Covid-19 rates recently hit a record high, all events, both indoor and outdoor, have a maximum capacity of 250 people. In addition, all businesses must close between midnight and 5 AM, and no alcohol can be sold during these hours.
• Berlin venues Sage Beach, Klunkerkranich, Mensch Meier and ://about blank will open as temporary Covid-19 vaccination centres from January 3rd through 9th. More info here.
• Last week, the Nachtdigital team confirmed that its latest festival, NACHTIVILLE, has been postponed for the second year running. It's yet to take place in its new location in north Germany.
• As the Guardian reports, the British drum & bass DJ Dimension, who has admitted to breaching quarantine rules in New Zealand, will not be prosecuted. He caused a scare when he tested positive for Omicron, becoming the first person to bring the latest Covid-19 variant into the country. His breach of quarantine and contact with other DJs led to the cancellation of numerous tour dates, as well as heavy criticism from New Zealanders.
Wednesday, December 29th
• Bars, nightclubs and restaurants can no longer play music as part of new rules announced today, December 29th. Venues must also close at midnight except on New Year’s Eve, when they can open until 2 AM.
Tuesday, December 28th
• Regions in northern Spain have unveiled new restrictions for nightlife establishments. Asturias and Cantabria have shut down clubs down entirely, while others, including Aragon and Navarra, have ordered bars and venues to close after midnight.
• Catalonia's government has allocated €20 million in aid to nightlife businesses. The assistance is the highest given to the nighttime economy by any Spanish state so far, business and labor minister Roger Torrent told Catalan News.
• New Delhi has joined several other Indian cities in introducing a night curfew. From 11 PM to 5 AM, all non-essential businesses, including clubs and bars, must be closed. Individual movement is also restricted.
• The Mediterranean nation is considering a 15-day period of fresh restrictions on nightclubs and sporting events that could start in early January, according to the country's health minister.
• Officials have restricted outdoor public gatherings to 5,000 people and confirmed that nightclubs will be closed until further notice.
Monday, December 27th
• Unlike in the rest of the UK, clubs and venues in England can stay open over New Year's, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced. Overall, there will be no further restrictions before New Year's.
This will come as a relief to many venue owners and promoters, though for those who have already cancelled or postponed events, or who feel uncertain about operating at this time, it's already too late. Read more about the situation here.
Friday, December 24th
• Starting December 25th, Mumbai will implement a night curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM. Restaurants, bars and other indoor spaces can open at 50 percent capacity while outdoor events are capped at 25 percent of seated capacity.
• Dance parties with DJs will be prohibited in the city of Bangalore from December 30th to January 2nd. Public gatherings and New Year's Eve celebrations are also banned. Restaurants and bars, however, can still function at 50 percent capacity.
Thursday, December 23rd
• Public New Year's Eve celebrations are now banned, while clubs, concerts and open-air events are being ordered to close until January 31st, officials announced today.
• Public Christmas and New Year celebrations, as well as any other crowded events, are officially cancelled until January 3rd.
• New Delhi has prohibited public Christmas and New Year gatherings as well as cultural events. Restaurants and bars, meanwhile, can only operate at half capacity.
• New York City is scaling down its annual New Year's Eve celebration at Times Square from pre-pandemic levels of 58,000 people to about 15,000 people with a mask mandate in effect.
• New York venue Nowadays will host their New Year's Nonstop party outdoors. The club then plans to take a few weeks off and reopen by January 20th. Also in New York, Mood Ring is closing for the week.
• In Catalonia, clubs will close for two weeks from December 24th. Concert venues can operate at 70 percent with a seated audience. A night curfew forbids people from circulating between 1 AM and 6 AM.
• From Monday, December 27th, standing events—excluding weddings and funerals—are banned and all venues have a 1 AM curfew. Looking further ahead, access to clubs, venues and other public spaces will only be available to people with a valid vaccination certificate from January 17th.
• Nightclubs will close for at least three weeks from December 27th. This rule comes only days after capacity limits were placed on events. Deputy first minister John Swinney said funding would be available for affected businesses.
• New South Wales has introduced a raft of new restrictions, including mandatory masks in all indoor, non-residential settings and indoor capacity limits for bars, pubs and clubs (One person per two square metres). They will come into effect on Monday, December 27th, and last until at least January 27th, 2022.
• House Masters has postponed its Boxing Day rave at Rainton Arena with Slipmatt, Danny Rampling and more.
• In Xi'an, all clubs and venues are closed after authorities ordered the city, home to more than 13 million people, into a snap lockdown. 127 cases of Covid-19 were recently detected.
Wednesday, December 22nd
• Starting December 26th, concert halls will be closed. Restaurants and bars will operate under an 11 PM curfew.
• Starting December 26th, nightclubs will close until further notice and all indoor standing events will be prohibited.
• The province of British Columbia has ordered all bars and clubs to close from December 22nd until January 18th. Restaurants are also now limited to six people per table, meaning they can no longer host parties.
• Nationwide, clubs and bars that have been hit with new capacity limits of 50 percent are now eligible for wage and rent subsidies, the government announced today.
• Manchester venue Partisan Collective has cancelled its New Year's Eve party. The team is asking any attendees who can afford it to forego a refund "to help support us through the next few months."
• Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the 16 state premiers agreed to shut all nightclubs before New Year's Eve. Previously, clubs only had to close in areas with high rates of Covid-19 cases. Private gatherings will also be limited to maximum ten vaccinated people.
Tuesday, December 21st
• Prime minister Antonio Costa has brought forward the closure of bars and nightclubs from to December 25th from the initial date of January 2nd. They will stay shut until at least January 9th.
• From December 23rd, all events with more than 20 people must be seated, regardless of vaccination status. For events over 500 people, all attendees must show vaccination passes. Here are the new measures in full.
• New restrictions will come into effect on December 26th, including capping outdoor events at 500 people and indoor events at 200 for seated and 100 for standing.
• Earlier today, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged £1 billion to help hospitality and leisure businesses in England affected by the loss of trade due to the Omicron variant. He has also pledged funds to Scotland (£150m), Wales (£50m) and Northern Ireland (£25).
Monday, December 20th
• In New York, the last three LCD Soundsystem gigs at Brooklyn Steel, scheduled for December 19th, 20th and 21st, have been cancelled. Here's a post from the band.
• Bars in Quebec have been ordered to close.
Saturday, December 18th
• The Netherlands is entering another lockdown, starting tomorrow, December 19th, and lasting until at least January 14th. All events are banned. Pubs, bars and restaurants must also shut.
• The North African nation has cancelled official New Year's Eve celebrations and reintroduced a night curfew for New Year's Eve.
Friday, December 17th
• Dancing is banned in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec as early as this weekend, with capacity limits in place and bars and restaurants forced to close early, depending on the jurisdiction.
• Yesterday, December 16th, London venue Dalston Superstore closed early for the holidays. The space plans to reopen on Tuesday, December 28th.
• Also in London, Corsica Studios and new sister venue The Carpet Shop have postponed this weekend's events.
• From Monday, December 20th, Switzerland will introduce new entry restrictions for clubs and venues, with all visitors required to follow the 2G+ rule: vaccinated or recovered within last four months, or vaccinated or recovered plus a negative test result.
• Manchester party Swing Ting has cancelled its last-ever event, due to take place this Saturday at SOUP.
• New York club Jupiter Disco is closed tonight, December 17th.
• Nightclubs will close from December 27th as part of new measures announced by first minister Mark Drakeford.
• London venue Printworks has postponed two events this weekend: Gorgon City presents Olympia and LWE presents From Our Minds. Both have been rescheduled to early 2022.
• The Hydra has postponed this Saturday's Not To Be party at The Drumsheds in London.
• UK chancellor Rishi Sunak said yesterday, December 16th, there would be no extra support measures for the hospitality industry. Pressure, though, is mounting amid a wave of cancellations.
• On December 15th, the government passed Plan B, a new set of measures that includes enforcing proof of vaccination or negative lateral flow tests to enter clubs and venues. Many clubs, like fabric in London, have been doing this "for months now," director Cameron Leslie told RA. "The experience of visiting fabric and a large number of other events is going to be no different to a week ago."
• In Edinburgh, Patrick Topping's latest Trick party, due to take place this Saturday, has been cancelled because of the impact on the venue, Royal Highland Centre, which is also the city's largest vaccination hub. Trick is hoping to reschedule the show.
• Brooklyn venue Bossa Nova Civic Club announced a two-day closure yesterday.
• Berlin Club Commission has called for mandatory PCR testing to replace the current dancing ban. "We need a long-term solution here, so as not to bring our cultural life to a standstill with every further wave," said chairwoman Pamela Schobess. "PCR tests offer security here."
• From December 18th, France is restricting UK visitors without a "compelling reason to travel." This rules out tourism and professional trips. Clubs have been closed since last week.
• Nightclubs have been closed since December 15th, though they may briefly reopen for New Year's Eve under strict conditions (100 people max, vaccine passports).
Photo: Benjamin Davies