Covid 19 outbreak causes closure of theatres and venues and concert cancellations

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, theatres and venues throughout the region are making the decision to close temporarily and postpone or cancel performances.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 10:11 am
Grimsargh Players at Preston Playhouse

Theatres in the region that have made the decision to close include The Dukes, Lancaster.

They stated: “Following the latest Government update, we will close our doors to the public until at least March 30. We’ll see you soon”.

The Grimsargh Players (pictured), who were due to be on stage at Preston Playhouse, have now cancelled.

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Dea Parkin, on behalf of the Players, said: “Very sorry to have to tell you that, in light of recent government advice re coronavirus, we’ve very sadly had to cancel the play. We’ll let the LP know when the theatres reopen and

Grimsargh Players can once again tread the boards.”

Blackpool Grand Theatre has closed its doors to the public, confirming currently shows are cancelled until April 6.

The Lowry in Salford will be closed until at least Tuesday March 31. If you have a ticket for a performance or booking for a workshop during this period, organisers say they will be in touch with you in due course.

Director & CEO of HOME in Manchester, Dave Moutrey, said the theatre will close until the end of March.

He said: “In light of the government’s latest advice for people to avoid non-essential contact, we have taken the decision to close HOME to the public as of Tuesday March 17. The health and safety of our staff, visitors, artists and volunteers is of utmost importance to us and we believe, given the current national landscape, it is not viable to remain open to the public at this time.”

A Manchester Palace Theatre and Opera House statement from Ambassador Theatre Group CEO Mark Cornel said: “In response to the Prime Minister’s statement, advising the UK public to avoid unnecessary social contact including in theatres, we regret to inform you that shows in all Ambassador Theatre Group UK venues are temporarily suspended with immediate effect.

“Given the current ambiguity and lack of clarity as to how long our theatres may be closed for we hope to provide you with an update within the next 48 hours regarding the exchange of tickets.”

A statement from Chorley Theatre read: “We regret to inform you that the theatre is temporarily closed with immediate effect. The health and safety of our audiences and volunteers must be top priority and so with the latest Government advice we feel we cannot responsibly open if there’s a risk of spreading infection. Nor would we want to put a show on knowing some people may not be able to come.

“We should be able to reschedule most events, so please hold on to your tickets and check our website and social media for the new dates. We will be in touch with firm information as soon as we can. This may take a few days so thank you for your patience and support.

“We have very limited funds so in order to survive an enforced closure we cannot issue refunds for counter bookings at this time. If you’ve booked with us in person keep hold of your ticket as a credit note for future use.

“If you have booked online you will probably be able to claim a refund via the ticket company (we’ll be in touch) but if that happens we would ask if you could look at donating towards us via the website.

“Please bear with us as we get around to sorting this all out.

“Visit for more information, and the fundraising page if you can help us out. Thank you.”

Meanwhile, the tour of Smile Club has been cancelled with a statement reading: “In line with the latest government advice, we’ve brought our national tour of Smile Club to a close. If you have pre-booked for the show, please do check with the ticket source for information.

“Thank you to our creative team for your incredible work on Smile Club, we’re proud of you. To our colleagues in the arts, our audiences, community hosts and neighbours, our friends - in these unprecedented times we stand with you and send love. Keep safe. See you again soon.”

Grassington Festival has also fallen victim to COVID-19.

In the year which would have seen the acclaimed Dales cultural summer event, Grassington Festival, celebrate its 40th year, organisers have had to take the reluctant decision to cancel 2020’s festival.

All the artistes who had been booked to perform at this year’s event have agreed to re-schedule their performance slots in the programme to 2021, so festival director, Penny Hart-Woods, is relieved that the eclectic programme which had been planned will effectively be postponed and replicated next year.

Also, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and public reaction to the spread of Coronavirus, Saxon have had to, with deep regret, postpone the three UK shows planned this month in Glasgow (March 27), London (March 28) and Manchester (March 29).

To keep the bands fans and everyone else involved with the shows safe at this time, the shows have been postponed to the following dates:

Saturday August 8 – Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom

Saturday September 5 – London Eventim Apollo

Sunday September 6 – Manchester O2 Apollo

All tickets will remain valid for these revised show dates.

In addition, Michael Kiwanuka has confirmed the below rescheduled date following the earlier postponement of his tour.

Michael Kiwanuka headlines Manchester O2 Apollo on September 3.

Planet Earth II Live in Concert UK and Ireland Arena Tour has been postponed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) until further notice.

Jamie Callum is unfortunately postponing the remainder of his UK tour. Shows affected are:

March 16, Oxford New Theatre

March 18/19 London Palladium

March 20 Gateshead Sage

March 23 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

March 24 Cardiff St David’s Hall

March 25 Manchester Bridgewater Hall

March 27 Portsmouth Guildhall

He said they would be rescheduled until later in the year.

Sea Girls have announced the postponement of their upcoming UK tour, including their show at Manchester O2 Ritz on the April 17.

The Hara have announced the postponement of their upcoming tour. They have insisted that the show will be rescheduled and we await further details on the new dates.

Stiff Little Fingers have also postponed all their remaining March 2020 UK shows.

They said they would be rescheduling all of the remaining shows of this tour for later in the year.

All tickets will be valid for the new dates.

The final dates on Jax Jones’ current UK tour will be postponed. Rescheduled date for the Friday, March 20 , date at Manchester Albert Hall will now take place on Saturday October 3.

The Killers, Biffy Clyro, Christine and The Queens and Charli XCX have all postponed upcoming events.

An increasing number of artists are cancelling or delaying gigs.

Gun have also postponed their March and April UK shows. They will now play Night People in Manchester on September 23.