Live music returned to the Ironworks in Inverness at the weekend for the first time since March’s lockdown.
There had been initial confusion over Covid-19 restrictions, but this was cleared-up in time to allow Highland-based folk rock band Torridon to take to the stage.
Ironworks director Caroline Campbell said the venue had been given the go-ahead to re-open for small seated events.
And on Saturday night, Torridon were the first performers to return, delighting a smaller-than-usual crowd at a seated and socially distanced venue.
‘Live music is back, albeit very differently’
It was a breakthrough moment for the Ironworks, which like all music venues has endured the toughest of years.
“Live music is back, albeit very differently,” Caroline said:
“We are very pleased with how the night went. Everyone that was lucky enough to get a ticket adhered to everything that was asked of them.
“It was great to see life back in the venue after a long eight months and it felt that a degree of normality returned.”
She added: “We introduced a number of measures to keep staff, artists and customers safe, including creating zones and a one way system.
“All drink and band merchandise orders will be done via an app and delivered to your zone.”
Scotland’s first gig since the beginning of lockdown has started in Inverness at the @IronworksVenue tonight with @TorridonLive on stage. Seated and socially distanced with only 98 in the audience #WeMakeEvents #coronavirus #gig #music pic.twitter.com/WRTHcrLges
— Isla Todd (@IslaTodd) November 21, 2020
Before the performance, Kenny Smith of the band Torridon said: “We are delighted to be supporting our biggest local music venue in their fight for survival in the current climate.
“We know the venue has gone to great lengths to ensure compliance with social distancing and event safety in line with the Tier 1 regulations.
“Even our dressing rooms have space allocated to ensure we all comply.”
More events lined up
Upcoming events at the Ironworks include Davy and Sam Cowan Under Lockdown on November 28, Lock-in-Live with Calum MacPhail and Sean Cousins from Ho-Ro on December 12, and the Johnny Cash Roadshow on January 26 next year.
With the Highlands in Tier One, it allows the Ironworks to have small, indoor, seated events up to 100 capacity, with two-metre distancing.
Caroline added: “We will only host events once we are confident the appropriate safety measures have been met.
“All tickets must be purchased online to reduce the time spent at the box office.
“Once you purchase your ticket, you will get allocated with your zone number. We will operate one way systems round the venue.
“Masks are mandatory on entering and exit and while walking to your table and the toilet, though you may take the mask off when seated in your zone.
“We ask all guests to remain in their seats during performances.
“Gigs will be laid out with fixed seating, chairs must not be moved, and you can’t mingle with other tables.”
She added: “We may request to take your temperature on entry to the event.
“Customers showing symptoms will not be admitted inside the building and if you do show symptoms, and have already booked a ticket, please stay at home.”