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The Clapham Grand held the first Government requested pilot live show with Frank Turner



The Clapham Grand held the first Government pilot show with Frank Turner on Tuesday 28th July. Ally Wolf, Manager, The Clapham Grand shares the realities of the pilot, challenges and opportunities for The Clapham Grand and stresses the importance that this pilot is not taken as representative of the wider industry:

"Holding the first Government pilot for live music is a step in the right direction for the industry but not without its challenges. It's important to say that this pilot, though a successful and great show, is by no means representative of the wider live music venue industry as we are a Variety Hall that provides not only music events, but comedy, bingo, cinema and more.

We operated this evening on less than 20% capacity; from 1250 to 200. This paired with vastly increased operational costs to fit with Covid Compliance, without a reduction in any of our fixed overheads, means that we are opening to a loss of revenue, which isn't sustainable for the future.

We want to thank Frank Turner, Beans on Toast and Ciara Haidar for performing this evening and all our staff for pulling tonight together to make something magical happen.

We have a unique opportunity - one that we realise isn't available to the majority of other music venues - our layout and capacity potentially enables us to reformat our seating and events. We also need to increase our capacity via refurbishing the disused upper circle which would increase seated capacity by 150 people. We also need to execute the plans we had drawn up for a roof garden to create the vital outside space the venue needs, but more than anything improve our accessibility for all our customers. 

This isn't just about surviving our enforced Covid closure, or about reopening for one show, one week or even a month. This is about future proofing one of the world oldest entertainment venues, to make sure in it's 120th year The Clapham Grand is made secure for audiences to enjoy shows for centuries to come."

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