11:55AM, Friday 30 April 2021
A busker has been left disappointed after being stopped from performing live in a Windsor beer garden due to council concerns over coronavirus restrictions.
Singer Matthew Allman, of Upton Road, Slough, had been due to perform a one-hour set at The Swan in Clewer on Saturday evening.
But the venue had to cancel the event after the Royal Borough objected to the music set going ahead while the nation remains in step two of the roadmap out of lockdown.
Matthew’s wife, Jo Allman, told the Express: “The legislation from April 12 for step two says quite clearly that music can be complimentary for drinks and food but it can’t be the sole reason you go to the pub and the pub must not charge an entrance fee.
“Rather than supporting pubs that are really suffering at this time the council is doing everything in its power to make things more and more difficult.
“Why is it that they don’t trust the pubs to be able to manage their own beer gardens?”
Matthew arrived in the UK from Barbados in 2019 and his wife said the pair have relied on money generated through his reggae and Motown-inspired vocals to get by.
“My husband doesn’t want to rock the boat, he doesn’t want the council to now say he can’t busk in Windsor because that’s our only income so people just accept what the council is saying because they’re too scared and worried about what will happen otherwise,” she said.
“Councils should be supporting local businesses, not penalising them.”
Willie Calvert, director of The Swan, said the pub took the decision to cancel the performance after consulting the Government’s coronavirus guidance and realising it constituted an event.
A spokesman for the Royal Borough said: “We are following government guidance regarding performances in hospitality venues.
“While we want to support all businesses and performers in getting back to work as quickly as possible, it is essential that the rules are fully complied with to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 continues to be effective.
“We want to engage with businesses as much as we can to give them the advice that they need. They can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if they want to discuss plans for live music on their premises, or any other COVID-19 related issues.”
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