Good afternoon EPIC,
Further to the discussion yesterday regarding live streaming / re-streaming from Brighton venues, I thought that I would share a few thoughts and describe what we at United We Stream Brighton (UWSB) have been up to so far along with steps and measures we have put into place to do it.
Initially due to discuss this directly with Toni from the Green Door Store, I thought it would actually be great to open this discussion up to the group as am sure there are many who may wish to / be willing to feed into this.
Following HSE guidance we have reviewed our procedures and then produced a number of additional working documents that focus on COVID-19 and the risks, which this particular disease outbreak has created. Following working through an activity specific risk assessment and method statement - we have, as you would expect, ensured that control measures and guidance are put into place by our team to cover their activities – it is these control measures that ensure the safety of our team (these include but are not limited to):
Travel to and from venue
Arrival at venue - including basic health checks
The setup of technical equipment
The streamlining of crew and production team - to limit numbers onsite to only those necessary
The working practices of crew - including and not limited to the use of PPE and social distancing
The cleaning and sanitation of equipment prior to & after each performance – re what we, please use click here. Discovered through research these are used widely as have been tested and proven to be effective against COVID-19.
The recording of acts and live streaming of acts
Talent management / logistics - arrival / departures and guidance provided to artist
Sanitising and safe pack down of equipment
Departure from venue and travel home.
In addition to ensuring we (UWSB) are doing all we can to mitigate the risk of infection / contamination, we also work with each venue to run through a checklist to ensure that the venue is also operating and utilising working practices that adhere to current COVID-secure recommendations and guidelines for venues.
It’s important to note that this process relies heavily on teamwork - each venue take responsibility for being COVID-secure themselves and should they have any concerns that they contact the relevant parties themselves (Environmental Health, HSE for example). It is this collaborative process that is the key – our aim is to provide a platform and portal through which content is shared and viewed. The ultimate aim is to create an opportunity for artists to highlight the plight of all venues across the city by performing from them whilst they are closed. (This has been limited to DJs / comedians thus far but it would be great to widen this to include ‘live musicians’.)
I would also like to clarify that the maintenance of COVID-secure working practices is as add on to standardised industry approved working practices one would expect from an experienced events crew (EG: manual handling, use of PPE, installation & safe use of electrical equipment etc).
Regarding licensing and licensable activities and responsibilities of the venue– the guidance that we have received is as follows: Inline with what was mentioned by Toni yesterday – referencing the MHSWR 1999 “The regulations require employers to consider the health and safety risks to employees and to carry out a risk assessment to protect employees from exposure to reasonably foreseeable risks.” It is a combination of the control measures put in place (use of correct PPE for example) and more importantly strictly limiting the numbers of staff and UWSB crew within the venue which we feel have been most effective – we wouldn’t expect more than a skeleton crew to be at each venue and request non essential crew do not remain in the venue.
Regarding any concerns relating to live-streamed performances we are following these guidelines:
“ On 23 March the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered businesses and venues to close, except those with exemptions. With regard to music venue exemptions, small group performances for the purposes of live streaming could be permissible where Public Health England guidelines are observed, and no audience members attend the venue.
Further social distancing measures have also been enacted with the banning of all mass gatherings.”
Lord Bethell. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The final key point to mention is that we as a team are being proactive. It is a combination of: experience, research and passion that drive us forwards. We (the core team) are all providing our time and skills for free - with no plan to seek and sort of remuneration. We have however paid for PPE and for some techs and content editors for their time – these payments have been made out of the personal funds of the UWSB team. I was tasked with assisting this team to make the streams happen and through my own review of current advice and guidelines along with the incredible skills and advice of the teams at Hybrid Events and Whiskey Bravo we are making it happen.
We are all working hard to highlight the desperate plight we find our beloved industry in and I’m sure that by continuing to work towards a common goal we can crack this together!
If anyone on this thread would like to get involved in any way from assisting with provision of talent, a venue or expertise and guidance we would welcome this whole heartedly!
With warmest regards and thanks