‘Seat Out to Help Out’ scheme in the works to help save live event industry

A ‘Seat Out to Help Out’ scheme is reportedly being discussed by the government to get people back to theatres and live sport events, according to the Times.

The scheme, similar to the ‘Eat Out to..’ one launched last month (which saw half a million Sheffielders take advantage of the initiative), would take advantage of rapid coronavirus testing proposals as a way to allow big crowds audiences back into theatre and sports venues using using new saliva swabs that return results in minutes.

Image courtesy of Craig Fleming

However, whilst tracing the virus would be easier with this rapid testing – providing it worked – the government are looking to encourage venues to partner up with local restaurants and bars to offer discounts, rather than offer any financial support. This will likely not go down well with the live events industry which has already warned that social distanced gigs – which will be allowed from this month – are not financially viable in the long run.

Neil Mendoza, the commissioner for cultural recovery and renewal, who is part of the team working on the Seat Out to Help Out scheme, told The Times: “We’ve got all sorts of ideas spinning around at the moment. Eat Out to Help Out was fantastic. Normally when you discount things it is seen as a bad thing to do. But in this case accepting discounts and going out was seen as a patriotic activity and a way to help a struggling sector. It was really effective.”

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