The delay leaves “thousands of jobs hanging in the balance,” Julian Bird, chief executive of UK Theater, a trade body, said in a statement. A quarter of nighttime businesses cannot survive longer than a month without new government support, the Night Times Industries Association, which represents clubs and pubs, said in a news release.
The biggest blow may be to England’s nightclubs, which were told for the fourth time that they could not reopen at all, even with distancing. Nightclubs in Britain have been closed since March 2020, and over 150 events were planned in London alone for the weekend of June 25, including a sold-out 42-hour-long party at Fabric, a famed club that can hold 1,500 people.
Those were all immediately canceled.
“It’s really, really frustrating,” Cameron Leslie, one of Fabric’s directors, said in a telephone interview. He had hired over 100 staff over the past month, expecting to reopen, and now was not able to furlough them.
“You can only be pushed and tested so far before our entire sector can’t respond anymore,” Leslie added.
Stuart Glen, the founder of The Cause, another London club, said in a telephone interview that the delay would cost him “hundred of thousands” of pounds and force him to rearrange 40 events. He’d had enough, he said. “I think everyone should riot if July doesn’t happen,” he said. “They can’t control people like this,” he added.
“It’s so devastating for so many people,” said Yousef Zahar, a D.J. and co-owner of Circus, a nightclub based in Liverpool, that in May held two pilot events featuring 6,000 maskless dancers.
Theaters, museums and music venues were allowed to reopen with distancing last month, but larger venues and all nightclubs have remained firmly shut. Mr. Lloyd Webber has repeatedly said that glitzy productions like “Cinderella” — which has a 34-strong cast and is already weeks into rehearsals — are financially unviable in half-full theaters.