Popular Jesmond venue forced to reschedule live events after North East is placed in Tier 3

Bobik’s, a live music venue located on Jesmond Road, is having to undergo mass re-scheduling of events after the recent coronavirus announcement.

The venue originally had plans run a series of socially distanced gigs between November and January. However, the venue was only a couple gigs into its 24-event run before the government enforced a second lockdown.

Inside Bobik’s, pre-coronavirus (Image: Bobik’s)

Still hopeful, Bobik’s hoped to re-open its doors to the public on December 2nd and re-commence its series of gigs.

Matt Hancock’s recent announcement that the North East will be under Tier 3 restrictions means that Bobik’s now won’t be able to host its series of live events.

After spending the day coming up with a new plan in line with Tier 3 restrictions, Russell Poad, events manager at Bobik’s, reveals that the venue may not be open until the end of January.

Bobik’s uses the upstairs floor of The Punch Bowl Hotel, a popular pub on Jesmond Road. Therefore, if the pub survives, the venue will also survive. The Punch Bowl Hotel will be facing the same restrictions as any pub within Tier 3, and may not be running as usual until the area falls under Tier 1, Poad tells Sly Gigs.

“In Tier 1 it should reopen and look to do business as usual with all of the safeguards in place,” he said. “At that point, the venue could reopen and carry out socially distanced gigs.”

The venue has already hosted many successful socially distanced gigs over the last few months, where audience members were required to: remain seated, keep at least a meter apart, wear a face covering, and sanitise their hands.

Snippet from Sly Gig’s exclusive interview with Russell Poad (events management at Bobik’s) on re-scheduling events.

They have also drastically limited the venue’s capacity to 20, which is usually between 60 and 90 people, to allow for social distancing.

Although they weren’t exactly like normal gigs, people seemed to enjoy them, Poad says, as they were as close as you could get to a normal gig under covid restrictions.

However, due to their relaxed nature, these types of gigs lend themselves more to acoustic soloists rather than rock bands, Poad acknowedges. “For those kinds of events, I think we’ll have to wait until we’re completely back to normal.”

Bobik’s is located on the first floor of The Punch Bowl Hotel, a popular fixation on Jesmond Road (Photo: Amelia Thorpe)

Now, uncertainty plagues the live music scene, making it both frustrating and disheartening to plan and promote live events. Everything is up in the air at the moment, Poad admits, and asks visitors to be patient as they update their website and social media pages.

Despite this, he is optimistic about the future. “I think we’ll be somewhere close to normal by late spring or early summer next year.”

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