Popular Dublin venue Whelan's set to reopen on August 10th

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Kenneth Fox
One of Dublin's most popular venues is set to reopen on August 10th as a bar and also for gigs.

The date is in line with the planned move to phase 4 of the Government’s reopening plan as the country continues to grapple with coronavirus.

In a statement released both on Twitter and Facebook, Whelan's announced their plan to reopen next month.

"Whelan’s is delighted to be returning, to be coming out of musical hibernation, after our covid winter. But we haven’t been sleeping, we’ve been planning on how to make the venue safe for everyone who has the live music bug.

"We’ve also been working to make sure that we can run shows with safety at the forefront. For the staff, the performers and of course our music nut customers who need their sonic fix.

"So in the short term, at least, we need to limit our capacity and are only running shows in our main venue. This means that a capacity of 450 has become 88 with all shows being seated. Sales will be by the table, so 2,4 or 6 people at a table.

Some of the new safety measures includes: Assigned seating at tables only, temperature checks at the entry and disinfectant hand rub at entry and throughout the venue.

Acoustic shows

They also outlined measures for performers: No sharing of vocal mics, vocal mics disinfected after use and not used for at least 3 days later, mic stands and leads also disinfected after use and socially distanced dressing room.

In an interview with the Irish Times, booking manager Dave Allen says it was something they put a lot of thought into to.

“Financially, it’s nothing compared to what we used to do . . . from March to June ticket sales were nonexistent.

“A lot of the international dates have been rearranged for next year and we’ve focused on making the venue Covid-safe. In the last few years live music and touring has become vital. A lot of bands rely on live gigs for 80 to 90 per cent of their income."

The upcoming shows are likely to be more intimate because as Dave explained "People are more captivated during an acoustic show, they’re less likely to move around."

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