Live shows in the UK unlikely to happen in 2020, says medical expert

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The world of live music has been throw into chaos because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Most spring and summer festivals have been cancelled, while the majority of tours planned over the coming months have been moved to later in the year.

Last month, bioethicist Zeke Emanuel said he didn’t think concerts and sporting events would resume until the autumn of 2021 at the earliest – and now virologist Dr Chris Smith says this year “is basically a write-off” for the UK’s live music scene.

He tells the BBC: “The government has cost the country billions to get the transmission rate right down, and we know that a very good catalyst for spreading the thing and amplifying cases is getting loads of people together again – and that's exactly what goes on at concerts, matches, and other kinds of parties.

"So I can't see them saying, ‘You know what, we think everyone needs a party.’ It's too soon."

He says that in the near-term, "it's just not going to happen,” and adds: “I think this year is basically a write-off, if I'm honest with you.”

The UK has been in lockdown since March, with the government due to update the public on the current situation over the next few days.

While the current situation is creating havoc in the industry, artists and labels have been coming up with a range of ideas and initiatives to provide support during the crisis.

Here are 16 ways you can support the musicians, record stores, venues and music shops you love.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.