Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Meanwhile on the Goodship Lollypop . . .

Dearest Jazz Lovers,

hoping this update finds you in good health and spirit and brimming with fortitude. 

It's a while since our last update on matters-JATP and since the situation seems to be gradually improving, we thought we'd update you on our plans, fluid as they are by necessity. We will notify you of any significant changes to plan, of course.

We are presently looking at the possibility of a short, trial run of gigs between September and Christmas 2021, review how things are going/gone and press on accordingly.   Of course this plan notwithstanding any measures necessary should the r-rate or variant situation worsen.

Of course, we will follow all the regulations decreed by HMG plus any others we, or you (see below) deem necessary to ensure the enjoyment of jazz in safety and comfort.

Working closely with Bradford Latvian Club, the "provisional" and developing plan is as follows :-

- we are looking at the possibility of asking ALL guests (including groupies and family members of the band) to let us know in advance if they are coming to a gig. This would be purely a "numbers" exercise to enable us to layout tables in a manner which allows maintenance of social distancing, before the start of a gig. Alas we don't have the facility to take payments or book particular tables in advance, so it would be a case of paying on the night as before and then finding a table suitable for the size of the party. For such a system to work it follows that individuals who haven't notified us in advance would be asked to wait in the Bar until we have ascertained whether there remains sufficient space to safely accommodate them once all pre-notified attendees are seated. In order to avoid such an unhappy situation arising, we will post the gig attendance protocol on all our public-facing channels : social media, web, email list and City Square Big Screen. We plan that Members and Patrons will have priority. More on this after further consideration, however your views on such a prospect are very welcome. 

- payment will preferably be cashless, or at least correct cash and no change given - one-way cash flow system (how very "un-jazz"?). We are looking at card payment systems - the less expensive yet secure ones. Alas these systems do not give receipts, however we will provide hand-written receipts on request.

- assuming HMG Regs have relaxed with respect to the wearing of masks, we do not plan to make them compulsory.

- unless HMG's hand is forced between now and then, we have no plans to discriminate between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

- presently, it will be table-service, however this is a matter for further discussion with BLC. Indeed, HMG guidance between now and then may obviate that current requirement. We are monitoring other jazz club gig pros & cons to further inform our views, however, given that there is 1 door in and out of the BLC bar, there is a natural "crossing point" where social distancing may lapse, so it may well be the case of table service even in September and even if HMG guidance allows otherwise.

- sanitization measures will be in place

- Public Liability Insurance – we are checking with our Insurers as to their developing view of whether our policy covers Covid-19. The "News" would seem to indicate that mainstream event venues are struggling to get their Insurers to cover Covid-19 which obviously imperils any events. As it did with the film industry recently, HMG is considering stepping-in presumably/hopefully to indemnify Venues in such regards, however this is clearly a developing situation which inevitably will colour our view on the whole gig prospect. We may end up in a situation where gigs are only held with a Covid-19 insurance disclaimer or failing that, not at all. We will keep you posted. 

- We must advise, regrettably, that we are reviewing entry costs. The "long suffering JATPjazzer" will know that we have increased our gig prices only once in 21 years (£6 to £7 in 2008) of continuous operation, with member entry fees remaining at a princely £5. We were vaguely considering an increase before COVID-19 reared its ugly posterior, however the additional costs of extra measures have considerably keened that "vagueness". Fear Ye not! we are not envisaging a wallet buster here, probably £1 or £2, but we must be realistic if we are to ensure longevity of the club, which we believe has represented exceptional value for money for live jazz of high quality. To put this in context, we have only raised Musicians fees once in 21 years, and whilst we have all had it tough these past 14 months, musicians have suffered desperately, so we must also consider them and their value and the fact that presently their operating geography has alas been severely curtailed by Brexit. Many visiting musicians remain involved in passing on the message at the UK jazz conservatoires, which according to recent news are about to suffer a further drop in State funding, so they are under a lot of pressure generally.

And so to my "see below" above - if that's not an oxymoron. As faithful and loyal attendees, we see JATPjazz as much Yours as anyone else's and it is with that sentiment in mind that we invite you to offer your views on any measures not specified above which would make you feel safer in returning to live gigs of limited numbers. Conversely, if there is anything above which you feel would deter you from attending, the same invitation to express views pertains

We look forward to your valued responses and, hopefully, your glorious fizzogs in September

Your JATP Committee 

Please respond to jatpjazz@gmail.com