It goes without saying that the bar, pub and club industry has been completely brutalised by lockdowns and Tier systems in place in the UK caused by the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

As Boris Johnson’s administration announced which areas in England would be placed into which tiers, many cities which have large LGBT+ scenes found themselves in Tier 3, leaving them unable to open unless operating as a takeaway or drive through. Many gay bars are simply not set up to handle or offer food.


Earlier this week Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis was described by the CEO of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern as “inflicting devastating pain to an industry on the verge of collapse”.

Live venues and performer in Tier system overlooked by government

One drag performer tweeted Boris Johnson demanding to know why certain settings like theatres, casinos, theme parks and escape rooms were permitted to open yet live venues which, do not offer food, but offer live entertainment such as cabaret and drag shows were not permitted to open.

Carrot, a non-binary drag performer wrote,


“Live performers & venues in music, cabaret & drag need clarity from @10DowningStreet NOW. Why can theatres open and sell drinks in the intervals, when live venues who have spent huge amounts of £s and time making safe allocated seating cannot without selling food?”

“Why can casinos & theme parks & escape rooms open in tier 2, places that are essentially impossible to clean entirely & keep safe, yet pubs & bars with allocated seating and table service cannot?

“Live artists & venues have lost so much already & are still being overlooked.


“It’s really heartbreaking. and yet somehow completely unsurprising.”

How does hospitality contribute to the rising numbers of Coronavirus cases?

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said, “Hospitality has accounted for as little as 2% of Covid cases”, and Kate Nicholls CEO, UK Hospitality said, “Pubs and restaurants pay the price of tougher tier restrictions – no other sector are facing restrictions like these.”

Government data has shown that house-to-house mixing has the highest rate of rates of transmission for the virus.

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Bars and clubs have closed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

2020 has seen numerous gay bar closures. Earlier in the year, Birmingham’s Eden Bar was forced to close due to devastating restraints placed on the pub industry. Also in the West Midlands, Midland Zone magazine also fell victim to the economic downturn.

gay and drag bars closed because of covid tier system

Nottingham’s only LGBT+ club, Propaganda closed in May and in Brighton, two venues have already shuttered. This month The Broadway closed and earlier in the year Legends fell into administration, before being reopened by new owners.

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