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Smokehouse cancels gigs as studios close temporarily because of coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 17 March 2020

The Smokehouse, Ipswich, has closed temporarily because of the coronavirus crisis.

Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Smokehouse, Ipswich, has closed temporarily because of the coronavirus crisis. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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Forthcoming gigs at the Smokehouse venue in Ipswich have been cancelled, as the linked South Street Studios announces a temporary closure because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Smokehouse, at South Street Studios in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Smokehouse, at South Street Studios in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Community Media (ICM), also based at the South Street complex, is temporarily closing its radio offices and studios - but hoping to continue some projects online.

South Street Studios posted on Facebook to say it had “come to the difficult decision to temporarily close for all educational practices, live music events, rehearsals and recordings.” It is asking staff to work from home where possible.

The statement said: “We take the health and safety of our visitors, learners, volunteers and staff extremely seriously.”

It adds that many people using facilities on the site are vulnerable and/or have underlying health issues.

MORE - Join the Suffolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group

Gigs which had been booked at the Smokehouse venue have until the end of April will not take place, with details of refunds and rescheduling to be announced.

The Smokehouse has built a fine reputation for its range of music and its unique atmosphere, and the Arts Council chose it in January for a launch to announce additional funding for grassroots music.

Rehearsals, tuition and recording sessions at Punch Studios are also cancelled “for the short term at least, whilst we assess the risks”.

The studios added: “We have not come to this decision lightly. South Street Studios houses a number of organisations operating as CICs, charities and small businesses, and the livelihoods of the freelance staff working here rely not only on project funding but income from gigs and events.

MORE - List of schools and nurseries in Suffolk currently closed

“However, the safety of our participants, volunteers, staff and visitors is our main concern.”

Ipswich Community Media has issued a similarly-worded statement via social media, saying that its ICM and IO radio offices and studios are temporarily closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Its statement said: “We will be closed for all courses and sessions for the foreseeable future. Dates for these projects resuming will be posted on our websites and social media channels.

“In the meantime we aare working to find alternative ways of running some of our projects online.”

MORE - Follow our Coronavirus updates here.


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