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Covid-19 Impact

No Concerts before April 2021

Summary of Letter sent to Club Members on 6th July 2020

Classic Rhythm

Martin Roscoe due to perform March 2020 - Cancelled

The Committee met recently, outside and suitably socially-distanced, to decide how we should approach the new Season. There was concern that we might not have a venue, that our artists might be unwilling or unable to perform for us and that some of you might be reluctant to return to concerts where social distancing regulations had to be applied. Of these, the availability of the venue proved to be the most immediately significant. The Lights remains closed for the foreseeable future and there have been regular discussions with the management team to find out when they imagine this will change, and how.

The impact of any form of social distancing on theatres and concert halls is considerable, as you will have seen and heard in the national media. For us it is significant that, if theatres were allowed to reopen with 2-metre social distancing, The Lights would only be able to offer seats to about 65 people in the main auditorium and even then there would be strict control of access to seats, traffic flow within the building, use of the toilets, availability of refreshments and a host of other matters related to the backstage and on-stage operation of the theatre. If social distancing were reduced to one metre (not the “one metre plus” currently recommended by Government), there would still only be about 100 seats available in the main auditorium. The Club’s current membership is just short of 180, so possession of a season ticket would not guarantee you a socially-distanced seat; we would have to ballot attendance at each concert. Heather Whittam, the Manager of The Lights, has said, “social distancing for theatres just doesn’t work”.

We could continue to wait for the situation to improve, but we are not confident that this will happen soon. Concerts of the sort that we organise, indoors and with no social distancing, are in the fifth stage of the Government’s 5-stage plan for easing the lockdown in theatres and concert venues which, at the moment, has no timeframe attached to it. You and our performers deserve a more definitive decision which will allow us all to get on with our lives while the Covid-19 situation is brought under control. So, reluctantly, the Committee has decided that:

We will hold no concerts before April 2021 at the earliest

The Foreseeable Future

Classic Rhythm

Zack Stephens due to perform April 2020 - Cancelled

For a number of administrative reasons we will continue to refer to the period between now and the end of August 2021 as the 74th Season rather than postponing the season by a year. So the season that we hope will begin in September 2021 will be the 75th Season. This change to the normal pattern of our Club life affects you in a number of ways, detailed below:

  • Your 73rd Season membership will continue to be valid until May 2021. We hope to be able to hold the 74th Season AGM and concert on 22nd April 2021, as currently planned, and will outline our plans for the 75th Season then. Details of the concert will be published later; please note the date in your diary.

  • There will be no AGM for Season 73. Charity Commission advice is that, in exceptional circumstances, an AGM may be cancelled and the Club’s accounts submitted to the Commission without formal approval by the membership; and the Committee supports the decision of the Club’s Trustees (Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary) that the circumstances of Covid-19 lockdown are exceptional. The accounts have passed Steve Davis’s Independent Examination and been accepted by the Committee.

  • Since we cannot know how or when the Covid-19 situation will play out or how willing you will be to renew your membership while uncertainty continues we must plan future seasons prudently. We have no way of predicting how strong the Club’s financial position will be after Covid-19 and have therefore abandoned plans to spend more of the Club’s reserves than usual on a jubilee season to mark the our 75th anniversary; it will be enough to be able to hold the normal range of concerts in the 75th Season and to survive beyond it.

Classic Rhythm

Ikuko Inoguchi due to perform 22nd April 2021

Next Concert - 22nd April 2021

Bearing in mind the detailed information and reasoning above our next expected concert will be the 74th Season AGM - with NO OTHER concerts during the season.

We are expecting this to be pianist Ikuko Inoguchi.  More information regarding this concert will be available on the website as soon as possible.

We very much look forward to welcoming you then and providing you with detailed information on Season 75.