The UK is now eight weeks into lockdown, and while this still remains a concerning time for everybody, not least the live sector, we are beginning to see positive signs.
According to step two of the government’s 60-page ‘COVID-19 Recovery Strategy’ (published on 11th May), some live ‘cultural and sporting’ events may be able to take place from 1st June. However, these events would be required to take place ‘behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact’.
In terms of reopening indoor spaces, such as gig venues and nightclubs, step three of the government’s strategy states that some ‘hospitality’ and ‘leisure’ facilities could reopen from 4th July. Though this will exclude ‘venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing’.
So while, as an industry, we’re still short on specific details and a clear timeframe from the government, there is clearly a will to get things going.
Here at Skiddle we are (as ever) remaining positive, and looking to our neighbours in Europe who are provisionally planning to bring large scale events back around Autumn.
Some countries are already trialing socially-distanced gigs and concerts, while others, including the UK, are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of ‘drive-in’ event. Italy, one of the nations hardest hit by the pandemic, has announced that live music events of up to 200 people indoors and 1000 people outdoors can begin from June 15th. In Berlin, some clubs are already due to reopen, though as food and beer gardens. Still, where there’s a will…
We’re pleased to say we’re seeing an increasing number of event organisers and promoters listing new events on Skiddle, from gigs to club events and festivals. You can browse all events by town, city and area here.
We are continuing to work as hard as we can with a depleted team (due to furlough measures) to manage a huge number of customer queries and process thousands of cancelled and postponed events.
Despite this, we’re pleased to report that our phone lines remain open five days a week, and that our average call wait time is still under five minutes.
While some ticket companies are asking customers to fill in forms to retrieve their money, Skiddle has always strived to simplify the customer experience, meaning customers can action their own refunds via their order history. On average, we’re processing cancelled events in less than 24 hours, with postponed events taking a little longer due to the complexities of rescheduling an event.
Skiddle also remains the only ticket agent to offer credit on booking fees. As you may or not know, it is industry standard amongst ticket agents to retain booking fees when events are cancelled or postponed, due to the costs of processing bookings and refunds.
However, as a ‘customer-first’ company, this is not something we adhere to. So from next week you will be able to use your booking fee credit towards a discount on future orders. You can find out more about how to claim booking fee credit here.
We are also working hard with our promoters and partners to extend our Cool:Off flexible ticket option, allowing customers more time to change their mind and get a refund, should circumstances change (and circumstances are changing quickly).
Elsewhere, we are continuing to produce new and original content across the website and social media, from our brand new podcast series, The Guest List, to interviews & articles, playlists and videos.
If you have any questions relating to your orders and the Coronavirus outbreak, you’ll find a page of FAQs here. You can also access your order history here.
We’d like to thank all of you for your continued support, understanding and patience during this difficult time. It means the world to us.
Stay safe and big love,
The Skiddle Team.