THE organiser of some of Scotland’s biggest festivals and concerts has dropped a major hint on when gigs could return in Scotland.

Geoff Ellis of TRSNMT, and formerly T in the Park, admitted there is a “long way to go” for the return of the large-scale events.

It comes as the Scottish Government announced £10 million to help the events sector in Scotland recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

When could festivals and concerts return?

Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Mr Ellis said: ““The Government has said that they need social distancing in place until a vaccine is available and it just doesn’t work for concerts. 

"There’s a whole eco-system of people and jobs around concerts and events.

“It’s good that the Government is recognising the problems and we need support.”

So when could they return? Mr Ellis said: "I don’t think we realistically expect any concerts on a large-scale until next spring so we’ve got a long way to go.”

Glasgow Times:

What has the Scottish Government said?

The Scottish Government’s route-map for the restarting of live events admits that live venues and event organisations “will find it difficult to re-start” while necessary physical distancing measures remain in place.

They say: “We recognise the impact this is having on those sectors, and we are working with them to consider how to support them and enable activity to begin again. 

“We hope in Phase 3 that live events can be permitted with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions with further relaxation of restrictions, in line with public health advice, can be introduced in Phase 4.”

Scotland is currently in Phase 3 of lockdown, but more restrictions are not set to be eased until schools return from August 11.

What about the new funding?

The Scottish Government hopes the £10million funding package will provide direct support to organisers of events, as well as supply chain firms facing hardship while restrictions remain in place.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the events sector and its wider supply chain, and whilst we’ve had the positive step that drive-in events can resume, most of the sector will be unable to operate for some time to come.

“We’ve worked closely and constructively with the sector on the challenges they face and they have brought forward some creative ideas on how they can begin to operate safely. In addition to providing immediate support, some of this funding will look to bolster innovation and aid the longer term recovery of the events industry.

“Scotland has a track record of planning, delivery and success in events at international, national and local level and this £10 million funding will ensure the sector has a future and that we remain the perfect stage for events.”

Mr Ellis told the Sunday paper: “The funding is definitely welcome but we’re going to need more of it. 

"The issue we have as an industry is that we can’t really get back, in most areas, until social distancing goes away.”