The free gig at Riva Showbar in Tithebarn Street, Preston is believed to be the first live music event in the city since the coronavirus crisis shut venues down in April.

This is what Preston's first 'Covid-secure' gig at Riva Showbar looked like

Preston's first gig under lockdown has been hailed a success after Riva Showbar put on a socially distanced but rip-roaring night of punk rock.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 3:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 3:32 pm

Lancashire's very own Sex Pistols tribute act, Pistol Whipped, headlined the high-energy gig on Saturday (October 10) in front of 75 fans.

The free gig at Riva Showbar in Tithebarn Street is believed to be the city's first since lockdown shut down Preston's live music scene in April.

The gig had been postponed twice due to COVID-19 and lockdown, but was finally able to go ahead at the weekend after Preston City Council said they were satisfied that all precautions had been taken to keep people safe.

Event promoter and DJ David Billington has hailed the event a success, saying the gig is an example of how live events can safely return with the proper care and organisation.

David said: "The council environment health came to see us beforehand and were very happy with the procedures we had in place.

"Tickets were free but you had to register via our website for track and trace and to keep an eye on numbers attending.

"Normally a table holds ten people, but we reduced this to just 4 people, unless they were from the same household.

"As you can see from the pictures, all the people were spaced out to meet social distancing requirements.

"Masks were worn when people were not seated and there was no dancing, even though I knew people were itching to do the pogo dance that punks do!

"We also had a nice health and safety talk at the beginning, and at the end of the night we staggered people leaving the venue, with different groups leaving within a gap of 15 minutes of each other.

"I am very proud of the audience for staying within the rules and using common sense. It was a free gig, but sometimes it’s not about the money, it’s about helping people.

"It was that successful that we are currently arranging another date with the band, so more people can again experience live music safely in Preston."

Pictures courtesy of David Billington.

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