‘Freedom Day’ Delay & The Impact

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So, today is the 21st June… a date we had all set in our calendars as the first day clubs were back and the start of a week-long bender. Okay, maybe some had more extensive plans than others but either way, celebrations were in order. However, as you will have seen in the news, our so-called ‘Freedom Day’ has been delayed by four weeks. The decision has been made for safety reasons but it’s no secret that the news is tough to take, especially considering that restrictions have been in place since March last year.

One of the industries that this news hits the hardest is the hospitality industry, as clubs, music venues and some bars have been unable to open due to restrictions being set in place. Once the date of 21st June was set as the day that all restrictions would be lifted, the countdown was on and re-opening marketing campaigns were in full swing but… the waiting game continues.

Lost marketing campaigns

One of the most difficult things to see, at this point in the year, is public venues posting updates apologising for cancelling events and detailing how they would love nothing more than to welcome people back. Not only do these venues need custom in order to survive, but they are also at their best when they are filled with people and able to thrive. Especially in the heart of Manchester (where Embryo is based), which is full of independent pubs and venues, getting people back to these places is crucial.

One of the most difficult parts for these venues within the hospitality industry to keep up with, however, is the marketing and promotional campaigns for reopening. The most recent campaigns that have been running are now meaningless (not to mention The Streets’ latest song about 21st June). The continuously changing dates and regulations are making it extremely difficult for pubs and clubs to plan the reopening of their doors. 

Marketing budgets that have been used to create posters, social media campaigns and competitions are now being stretched. Ticketed events that have been planned and live music bands that have been booked are now either being postponed or cancelled completely. However, it’s extremely important the necessary precautions are taken and we do what we can to limit the spread of COVID. All we can do is hope that all the venues which have endured multiple lockdowns and tiered systems can safely reopen on 19th July. We must also make sure that when they do, we support independent pubs, clubs and other venues to help them remain open.

What next?

Due to delays, we must now wait another four weeks until COVID restrictions are fully lifted. This means we must all follow the Government’s regulations and hope that when the 19th July rolls around that we will be able to enjoy ‘Freedom Day’. No doubt we all have plans for how we’re going to celebrate it. For businesses within the hospitality industry, the changes mean more logistical and marketing challenges, to which we’ll no doubt see new campaigns, announcing the reopening, which I’m sure we all hope will be the last ones we see.