We’ve been off the grid for a while now so here’s where we are…
First of all, the venue is okay. As you may have noticed, we’ve been in hibernation mode, keeping our heads down and therefore our overheads low. Vital funding from Creative Scotland and the Scottish government, as well as a little help from our friends, has kept us alive and well and we are doing all we can to make sure we will return when this is all over. The problem is, it’s impossible for anyone to really know when that will be.
Right now, we are in a tier system until the end of June at least. All of the tiers (including tier 0) include social distancing, and no definitive end has been, or really can be given for tier 0. These dates are always under review by the Scottish government and subject to change. We are aiming to ride out as much of the social distancing measures as we can in closure and will not be reopening until around September at the earliest.
Social distancing, whether it’s 2m or 1m+, shockingly reduces our capacity and means that should we open, even with ‘full’ rooms, we would be haemorrhaging funds very quickly. Comparatively, our expenses can be very low while we are closed. This means that, although it’s not ideal for any of us, remaining closed is what is best for the long-term sustainability of the venue right now. We are playing the long game and aiming to secure the venue for it to support musicians in the years to come, rather than petering out in just a few months. It may not be likely that we can avoid all of the social distancing measures and may have to re-emerge on the tail end of them, but what we are doing is literally buying ourselves time and trying to ride the wave for as long as possible.
While we intend to reopen around September, we are not yet taking bookings for either musicians or customers and don’t currently have any set opening date. There are constantly new variables being thrown our way that can scrap any well-laid plans and the last thing I want to do is cancel on musicians who have been waiting well over a year for a gig, or on any of our amazing customers who have been so supportive of us. So, we are waiting for as much confirmation and security of dates as we can before setting up a new music programme.
What that new programme will look like, we’re not sure yet! We may need to shake it up a little from the old regular programme, but we’re very excited to get back to it and get some noise back in this bar. In the meantime, we’ll be sharing a few things from our Facebook and Instagram pages and we’re working up some fun with our friends at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival too. Stay tuned!
As always, sincere thanks for all of the invaluable support and kindness we have been shown this past year, and all the years before that.
Stay safe and #keepmusiclive