During December ACC Liverpool is on track to welcome 16,000 people to a number of events at the waterfront M&S Bank Arena amid COVID-19 restrictions. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s waterfront M&S Bank Arena is on course to welcome 16,000 people during December as the ACC Liverpool complex get back up and running amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 10, ACC’s convention centre hosted the Downtown in Business Livercool awards with 250 guests. Hot Water Comedy Club was the first event to take place at the arena earlier this month and this weekend 4,000 people attended several shows.
These included the start of a 26-show run of Jack and the Beanstalk and three socially distanced concerts in the arena – Classic Rock Show Christmas Party and two nights of Rumours of Fleetwood Mac.
The venue is believed to be the only major UK arena hosting socially distanced events and is set to welcome around 16,000 customers throughout December culminating in Hot Water Comedy Club on New Year’s Eve.
Liverpool city region is currently under Tier 2 restrictions which allows the venue to hold events for up to 1,000 people at a time. COVID-secure measures across the campus have been introduced in line with the Government-approved ‘All Secure Standard’.
ACC Liverpool, which is owned by the city council, has secured a series of accreditations, including VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard for the country’s tourism and hospitality sector.
Kerry Mulloy, director of events and operations at The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “It has been fantastic to finally be able to open our doors this month and welcome our customers back.
“We appreciate there are still very tough restrictions in place across the country and our thoughts go to those living in these areas. As Liverpool has been placed in tier two, the Government regulations allow us to host socially distanced events for up to 1,000 people.
“Over the weekend we welcomed 4,000 visitors and everything has run smoothly. We have put a range of COVID-secure measures in place to ensure the safety of our guests and we are pleased that our customers have recognised the importance of working with us to ensure we are compliant.
“The atmosphere has been extremely positive and visitors are really pleased and grateful to be able to enjoy live entertainment for the first time since March.”
Measures include designated entrances; track and trace QR codes, socially distanced queuing, bathrooms and seating; one-way systems; hand sanitisers and anti-viral electrostatic spraying machines to enhance hygiene standards throughout the venue, including seating areas.
Customers are asked to wear face coverings on arrival and at all times throughout the venue, including when seated and watching the show. Face coverings can be removed to eat and drink while seated. Refreshments are available using contactless payment and food is provided in covid secure packaging.
Looking ahead to 2021, the M&S Bank Arena continues with a series of socially distanced events in January and February including a new show by panto favourite Bippo’s Circus Spectacular, Judge Jules Live and The Drifters.