Preston's Riva Showbar shuts temporarily due to impact of Covid-19 restrictions

Preston's live music and entertainment venue Riva Showbar has closed temporarily due to the impact of Covid-19 and restrictions.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 3:08 pm
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 3:24 pm
Rive Showbar owners David and Tracey Billington outside the venue in Tithebarn Street, Preston

The Tithebarn Street venue, opposite the bus station, reopened with a sell-out show on May 22 after being closed for months due to lockdown.

But Riva's owners David and Tracey Billington say they have now closed Riva until July due to the costs of running the large venue at reduced capacity.

David, 59, said they will reopen with its Ladies' Night on July 3, with the event raising money for North West Air Ambulance and Age Concern Central Lancashire.

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Preston's Riva Showbar in Tithebarn Street has closed until July 3

The Preston-born DJ said the recent increase in Covid cases in Preston and the wider region also swayed their decision to close the venue until next month.

He said: "This is the biggest struggle of our lives and we are fighting to hang in there. It’s such a big venue and it costs too much to run if we don't get the numbers in.

"We have to pay for our DJ, sound and lighting engineers, reception staff, cleaners, kitchen staff and extra bar staff for the table service.

"And with Covid rates being so high in the North West at the moment, we thought it was the most sensible thing to do.

"We’ve been open and closed, open and closed. It’s been such hard work. We deal with hundreds of people and have had to rearrange everything due to the changing restrictions and guidance.

"But this time we're just closing until bar service can resume as normal, or until July 3 when we host our spectacular extravaganza Ladies' Night.

"But this all depends on what Boris says on Monday (June 14)."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on Monday confirming whether all restrictions will be lifted as planned on June 21.

David added: "Tickets are on sale as normal for all events and we cannot wait to get the dance floor back open so we can all boogie."

Riva hosted Preston's first post-lockdown gig when it reopened following an initial easing of restrictions last October, before having to close again when England’s third lockdown came into place on January 6.

The venue then reopened on May 22 and has since hosted entertainment nights including classic rock nights, karaoke, party DJs and 'diva shows'.

You can find listings and book tickets for all the upcoming events at Riva Showbar here.

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