Southport singing sensation Kelly Bond

It’s time to face the music! After four months in lockdown, Southport’s talented singers, performers, DJs and actors are able to perform again – starting this weekend. 

Outdoor singing, theatre, opera, dance and music events will be allowed from this Saturday (July 11), the Government announced yesterday.

Audiences must be ‘limited and socially-distanced’ and are being told not to sing along, according to guidelines released with the announcement.

Two of Southport’s best known performers, Kelly Bond and Matthew Fearon, are excited to be out of exile and singing live for customers at the Ra Egyptian themed bar and restaurant this weekend. 

A Ra spokesperson said: “Since reopening our doors last Saturday, we have been overwhelmed by the understanding and consideration shown by our customers, graciously adhering to social distancing measures and celebrating responsibly. 

“It has been fantastic to see faces old and new and take multiple obligatory ‘first post lock down pint’ photos! 

“Now that rules have now relaxed regarding music, in outdoor areas only, we are thrilled to welcome back two of our regular live performers – Matthew Fearon and Kelly Bond. They will be performing from 2pm onwards this Sunday, 12th July. 


Renowned Southport singer Matthew Fearon

Renowned Southport singer Matthew Fearon

“Our restaurant will be open between 9am and 3pm serving our new menu and we have two fantastic deals available: Simply British Breakfast (Inc Tea, Coffee or Juice) £4.50 or Burger & Drink for £10. 

“Although we are always welcoming of walk-ins we have found our pre-book system works effectively and ask that on busy days such as weekends if you want to dine and / or drink with us you book ahead to avoid disappointment on 01704 532223 and a member of our team will be happy to help out.”

After yesterday’s announcement by the Government, audiences must be ‘limited and socially-distanced’ and will be banned from singing along, according to guidelines.

A wide array of rules dictate how everything from hair and make-up to set design should change in light of Covid-19 – including restricting singing and playing brass and wind instruments to professionals only as they ‘carry a potential higher risk of transmission’.

Ministers also said planning rules are being changed to prevent developers from demolishing performance venues or changing their use after dozens warned they could go bust in the coming months.

Read More: Over 4,000 back campaign to save Southport Theatre and Convention Centre

The changes add to a £1.57 billion rescue fund for Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions, over half of which will be provided as direct grants. 

The government says work is being done to allow limited indoor performances followed by more regular indoor events in due course.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. That’s why we’re protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times. We are also giving further clarity on restart dates in our roadmap back to performance.

“From July 11 we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and we are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots.”

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