Major events set to get green light to return in Scotland this summer

Large-scale events are set to be allowed to go ahead in Scotland this summer.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:19 pm

The Scottish Government has revealed that it is working on a plan to help bring back “major events” in the summer months as long as infection rates are kept down.

Details on crowd numbers and safety measures for event organisers are expected to be published shortly to allow festivals and other cultural and sporting events to go ahead.

However organisers of TRNSMT, Scotland’s biggest music festival, which is due to be held on Glasgow Green this summer, revealed that they would be making an announcement on Friday morning.

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The Scottish Government’s current route map out of lockdown only allows for the resumption of “small-scale” indoor and outdoor events from 17 May, although these are yet to be defined.

There has been huge pressure on the government from event organisers and promoters to ensure that Scotland is not left lagging behind England as the vaccination programme is rolled out.

Last month organisers of the event, where Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi, the Courteeners, Ian Brown, Twin Atlantic, Snow Patrol and Amy Macdonald are all due to appear, called for the government to make a decision on the event within weeks

The government’s decision to plan for the return of major events this summer significantly increases the chances of major events like the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe and the Tattoo going ahead in August before large audiences.

Liam Gallagher, the Courteeners, Ian Brown, Snow Patrol, Rita Ora, Amy Macdonald and Keane are all due to appeal at the TRNSMT festival this summer.

Van Morrison, Primal Scream, Suzanne Vega, King Creosote, Belinda Carlisle, Altered Images and Edwyn Collins are due to appear at Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow, while Sir Tom Jones, Travis, DMA’s, Michael Kiwanuka, Lionel Richie and Simple Minds have shows lined up at Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

However the Belladrum festival in the Highlands has just been called off for the second year in a row, with organisers stating: “There are still too many uncertainties surrounding potential restrictions that may be in place.”

Guidance for organisers of events in England states that indoor and outdoor venues can reopen from the same date with audiences of up to 10,000, depending on capacity, with all social distancing restrictions hoped to be lifted by the end of June..

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and culture secretary Fiona Hyslop have been warned by an official events industry taskforce that festivals, concerts and conferences could be relocated to England unless the Scottish Government published guidelines similar to those set up by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Tickets have been on sale for months for this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

However in new guidance for festival and event organisers, the Scottish Government states: “We are working with Event Scotland to support some of Scotland’s major events to return over summer subject to epidemiological conditions.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I know how important events are to businesses, our culture and well-being.

"Details on spectator numbers and safeguards will be announced soon.”

The latest Scottish Government guidance states: “We are working with the UK Government to align our approach and guidance where possible and on the basis of scientific evidence on the levels of infection in Scotland.”

TRNSMT is Scotland's biggest live music festival. Picture: Gaelle Beri

A spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is working with the sector, including through the Events Industry Advisory Group, to develop a safe route back for all events.”

A spokeswoman for EventScotland said: “Scotland is renowned for hosting world-class events and we are eager to see them return as soon as it is safe.”