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People gathering on the street

Twickenham street concerts broken up following social distancing concerns

Street concerts were broken up by the police in Twickenham, following social distancing concerns.

Laurie Wright and the Lockdown played on Church Street on the evening of the 10th and afternoon of the 15th of October.

Police stopped the events following social distancing concerns, as about 100 people were in attendance and videos show a lack of regard for social distancing guidelines.

The concerts were both live streamed on Wright’s Facebook page, with the one on the 10th capturing the encounter with the police.

The 29-year-old, who booked his first gig at 16, revealed that the Twickenham street concerts were driven by coronavirus restrictions, after a national tour set for April and a lot of his gigs were cancelled.

He said: “It makes sense to do it in Twickenham because our drummer is from there and people are really receptive.

“It is in many respects the home of British rock and roll with Eel Pie Island and all that.

“I’m just happy that people are having a good time, and they have been respectful: they were not close together, they were not kicking off.”

Mark, 50, was present at both concerts, and was not surprised by the arrival of the police because, despite some social distancing, there was quite a gathering.

He said: “The evening performance was starting to get a bit too dense for my comfort when I left; I wasn’t at all bothered by the afternoon one.

“I was happily surprised both times they set it up.

“They are talented and it’s nice to have that liveliness in the street, especially given Twickenham’s musical heritage.”

Wright was critical of the lack of support from the government to musicians during the pandemic.

He added: “We need to make a living, so I want to go out and play to as many people as possible.

“I love doing it, and it’s great to see people smiling and saying how much they are enjoying it and dancing.

“Doing all the things that we haven’t been allowed to do.

“I’m not a politician and I’m not a scientist, so I don’t have the answers, but I think there should be an effort made to have more socially distanced events possible.

“Busking is legal, I’m not doing anything against the law, and that’s what I do for a living until the venues open properly.”

Wright spoke to the impact coronavirus restrictions had not only on his profession, but on his mental health, considering his past struggles with addition.

“It’s very difficult too because when you have spent so much of your life isolating, and then being told to isolate by the government, it’s so difficult to kind of see past those four walls and see past your situation, and you always feel like they are closing in.

“Addiction and lockdown don’t go. They’re not right for each other.”

Wright is releasing a charity Christmas single, ‘Cold Turkey on Christmas Day’, with all profits going to Shelter & Young Minds charities.

Police confirmed that they attended the incident to break it up, and reminded people to follow the government guidelines regarding groups of people meeting outdoors.

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