Finding a Covid-secure rehearsal venue

Now that your group can meet for in-person rehearsals again, you might find it challenging to locate a suitable venue for rehearsals.

While most restrictions are no longer in place, it would still be safer to consider the following for a Covid-secure venue: large enough to some spacing between singers or players, well-ventilated, with wifi and/or good lighting for videoing or blended rehearsals – and affordable. Below we've collected together some ideas to help you find a suitable venue.

Community halls

These are often run by volunteers. As they are generally multi-purpose, many will prioritise the nursery over the community choir or reducing the number of bookings to allow bigger gaps between them. Talking to them and working together to manage and mitigate risks may well yield a result here. Find a community hall near you on the Action with Communities in Rural England website by clicking on your area. Your area organisation will have a list of local halls.

Churches

Churches have reopened for religious services and so generally have robust risk assessment and mitigations in place. When looking for a church near you, remember to try all denominations - here are some suggestions. They tend to be large buildings in terms of footprint and volume, and although their ventilation is perhaps not usually modern, any unintentional draughtiness could now potentially be an asset!

Search for churches:

Educational establishments

School and university halls or buildings have reopened for students and staff, but might not be open to the public. In any case, they already have robust risk assessments and systems in place so it's worth checking. You could search the Schools Web Directory and the British Uni website.

Local authorities

Local authority venues appear the most risk-averse. Nevertheless, try your local authority website: many publish a list of venues available for booking by the community, not all or even any of them are necessarily spaces that they run. You might need to search a bit… In Southwark, for example, they were under ‘Housing’! Each local authority will put this list, if it has one, under a different heading.

Concert halls

Concert halls would perhaps not usually feature on your list of spaces to consider for rehearsals, but try them: they are often large and many might be eager to hire the space out. So in the short term you could have success here – and help them out, too. Download a list of members of the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH).

Some other venue ideas

The same may apply to arts centres, some of which are listed on the Future Arts Centres website. You can also search for local theatres.

Remember Working Men's Clubs? Yes, they are still around and there's probably one near you and they hire space out. Search on the Club & Institute Union's website.

Think outside the box – is there empty retail space on your high street? A cinema that’s closed down? Redundant offices? Sports facilities – e.g. sports halls? Aircraft hangars! Don’t forget outside or covered outdoor areas: multi-storey or open-air carparks, open-sided barns, stadium stands, horse riding facilities all make for lots of space and fresh air, and some of them can help keep off the worst of the weather. Try your local authority for at least temporary access to some of these and don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price.

Although the acoustics may not be ideal, it's a good starting point, and these ideas may give you a place to start getting your group going again.


We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.