The performing arts sector is heading into uncharted territory over the coming months.

We know that our often fragile sector is looking and feeling even more precarious at present. But I also know that we will weather this storm.

It’s a struggle of course when, as a sector, we are used to the answer to community crises being to come together and share stories. Right now, that’s impossible for some of us and I know that the decision to close venues temporarily has been a very difficult one. But what we need to do right now is genuinely ensure we are focused on looking after ourselves as well as the well-being of our staff, our communities, our artists and our audiences.

Over the last 24 hours we’ve had many conversations with colleagues around the country, and the calm and measured responses we’re hearing have filled us with confidence for the future of our sector, even in the face of the weekend’s dramatic and escalating announcements. We also want to make a special point to thank everyone who has been especially conscious of the impact that this crisis is already having on independent artists and their livelihoods.

Currently the majority of our touring for 2020 takes place after June, so at present we are continuing with our plans. This is being done in consultation with venues and artists, and we’ll ensure that any changes to these plans will be broadcast as early as possible.

In the meantime, we are all here to support you in whatever way is necessary. Our teams’ hours are not affected at present, so we’re still here to assist where we can while still preparing for our upcoming tours.

At present, our team is reducing our presence in the office with some staff working remotely over the coming weeks. We’re putting a number of measures in place that mean you can still get hold of us when you need to, and it’s as close to business-as-usual  as these times can allow.

With thanks and very best wishes from all of the Critical Stages Touring team.

Image: Audience 33 by TEDxADL