Frequently-asked questions about how COVID-19 is impacting Reading Arts & Venues events at The Hexagon, South Street and The Concert Hall, from changing dates to changing how events operate once we re-open.
We'll be updating these as new information is available so do check back.
Reading Arts Venue FAQs
WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE WE PUTTING IN PLACE?
We are delighted to be able to welcome all of our patrons, friends and families back to The Hexagon and South Street in the very near future.
For our customer and staff safety we have introduced changes in line with the latest Government guidelines.
If you are a regular visitor to our venues, lots of things will have changed since March. Please find the current information relating to your visit in the FAQ links below.
To help keep you safe, our venues are cleaned before every performance and regularly disinfected.
Our helpful staff will guide you through the venue as routes have changed in order to minimise your contact with others.
We have various hand sanitiser points at our venues. Please use these as frequently as you can during your visit.
As the venues are run by the Local Authority all our procedures have been approved by the Health and Safety Team.
We have worked with specialist teams in the Council, specialist contractors, promoters, industry bodies and used the Government Guidelines for live performance to ensure that our venues are Covid Safe.
The measures we have introduced include REDUCED SEATING CAPACITY, ENHANCED CLEANING, ONE-WAY SYSTEMS, E-TICKETS and MULTIPLE HAND SANTISER STATIONS.
The safety of our audience, performers and staff are our top priority and we will adhere to all guidance and safety measures strictly.
A full breakdown of what you can expect at our venues are listed in the FAQ links below.
If you have any queries or concerns about your visit please email the Reading Box Office HERE.
GETTING TO THE THEATRE/ACCESS/DOOR TIMES
How can I get to the theatre?
Be sure to set aside more than enough time for your journey to the venue; if possible, walk or cycle at least part of the way. Please check your route if travelling by public transport as this may have recently changed.
Doors to the theatre will open 30 minutes before the performance.
Please arrive in plenty of time to be directed by staff outside the venue. Seating areas have been socially distanced and so zones/routes into the building to reach your seat will have changed.
Customers with access needs can discuss their requirements with a member of the Box Office team if they wish, in the same way they could previously. Anyone requiring a wheelchair accessible seat space will be able to identify the best seats for them on the Arena seating area plan. Due to the socially distant seating arrangements and requirements for households or bubbles to book seats together, if you cannot see a way to make your booking easily please speak to Box Office staff who will be able to find the best options for you.
Anyone who requires flat floor access to the venue can arrange to be dropped off at the lower road level doors or use the ramp outside the main entrance doors on the town centre side of the building, on the upper level, and use the lift if they wish.
HOW WILL MY E-TICKETS WORK?
Every ticket must be purchased in advance as an e-ticket, please select this option when booking.
Ticket collections from Box Office and postal tickets are not available for socially distanced shows.
e-tickets may be displayed on your phone or printed at home. Please have your e-ticket ready to be scanned on arrival.
Your e-tickets will be emailed to you shortly after booking.
e-tickets can also be downloaded by logging into your Reading Arts account.
This will allow us to let you enter our venues more easily, minimise the amount of time you may have to queue, and reduce contact with the front of house team. Tickets are available in fixed groups, between 1and 6 tickets, and are seated together. Each group is distanced from the other groups.
Seats in the balcony will now have a lettered zone associated with them from A to F. Seats on the lower level in the Arena will have a colour code to follow to ensure that everyone knows exactly where to go once inside the venue. This information will be clearly marked on your e-ticket. Please follow staff guidance on arrival.
WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES?
At the moment, we ask that you to maintain a safe distance from people when queuing to take your seats. Whilst the capacity in the auditorium has been greatly reduced, you may need to pass someone to take your seat. Please mitigate any risk by keeping your mask on and turning away as you pass.
TRACK AND TRACE
You will have been asked to provide a contact telephone number for NHS Track and Trace at the time of booking, please email email@example.com if you need to change the number registered.
It may be necessary for us to contact you regarding your tickets or changes to your event so please ensure that your email and other contact details are correct. You can do this by logging on to your account at www.whatsonreading.com/my-account
Everyone attending our venues should ‘Track and Trace’.
Scannable Track and Trace posters are on display in our foyers for customers to use.
By purchasing tickets you permit us, if required, to share your contact details with NHS Test and Trace.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FEEL ILL BEFORE OR AFTER MY VISIT?
If you feel ill before your visit.
Please email the Reading Arts Box Office HERE to discuss your ticket options.
Please do not attend the venue if you...
believe you may be infected with COVID-19;
have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
have arrived in England in the last 14 days and are not covered by the exemption rules relating to self-isolation;
or have been instructed to self-isolate.
Any individual who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable or who is in the same household or support bubble as someone who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable is advised not to attend.
What should I do if I become unwell after my theatre visit?
All venues are working with the government to ‘Track And Trace’.
If you display COVID-19 symptoms, you will be required to inform your point of purchase.
Please email the Reading Arts Box Office HERE as soon possible.
WILL I NEED A FACE COVERING?
Face coverings must be worn throughout your visit to the venue.
You will not be required to wear a face covering if:
you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering; or putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress. You can download a TfL exemption lanyard which can be downloaded here.
WILL I NEED TO HAVE MY TEMPERATURE CHECKED?
Our venues may be taking temperature checks on arrival.
If the venue assesses that your temperature is 37.8C or higher, you and those who were to be part of your fixed group of tickets will not be allowed to enter the venue and the face value of your tickets will be refunded or exchanged.
FURTHER VENUE INFORMATION FOR SOCIALLY DISTANCED EVENTS
There will be a one-way flow through our venues, with specific entry points for the different seating areas (at The Hexagon).
This information will be clearly defined on your e-ticket.
Our staff will be on hand to direct you and help with any problems.
Taking your seat
Once you and your party enter the venue you will be directed to your allocated seats.
We ask you to keep movement around the theatre to a minimum.
Using toilet facilities
Toilets are open for use throughout our events. Please observe social distancing and designated routes around the building and take direction from our staff. Please wash your hands before and after using the toilet facilities.
Booster seats for children’s shows will not be available. However, you may bring your own
If you are interested in supporting us and getting exclusive benefits and discounts, discover more about our Reading Arts Membership HERE
WILL I BE ABLE TO BUY REFRESHMENTS/IS THERE AN INTERVAL?
Will there be an interval?
Unless specified on the event page there WILL NOT be an interval during our performances.
Will I be able to buy refreshments?
A full range of refreshments are available to pre-order at the time of booking or via the link on the event page, up until 2 hours before the performance.
Pre-orders will be delivered to your seats shortly after you have been scanned in on arrival.
In person bar and cafe service is not available for socially distanced events.
To help us fulfil your order please ensure that tickets and pre-orders are purchased with the same Reading Arts account.
You may cancel or amend an existing refreshment order up to 4 hours before the start of the performance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to make any changes.
Please note that alcohol sales are for over 18's only, you may be asked for ID and Reading Arts reserves the right to refuse service.
AFTER THE SHOW
You will be guided out of the venue through the designated doors for your seating area. You may be asked to exit through a fire exit which leads directly outside to avoid re-entering the foyers.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF A PERFORMANCE IS CANCELLED OR POSTPONED?
In the event of a postponed or cancelled event we will email all ticket holders who have purchased their tickets from Reading Arts to inform you of any changes. We will also update our website and social media channels. For rescheduled events, all tickets will remain valid for the new date and you do not need to do anything. If you cannot make the new date, or if a show is cancelled, you will the option of a refund or a credit which can be used on any future Reading Arts event. If you choose a refund your tickets will be refunded within 30 days.
To help us please ensure that the email address and contact details we hold for you are up to date by logging into your account here
We ask you to bear with us as rescheduled events are confirmed and to avoid contacting the box office as they are dealing with an unprecedented number of enquiries.
If you have purchased tickets though a ticket agent (eg Ticketmaster, SEE tickets etc) or any other channel you will need to contact the agent directly to discuss your booking and their terms and conditions and refund policy will apply.
WHAT IF I NO LONGER WISH TO ATTEND AN EVENT?
For the moment our standard terms and conditions apply for all events and tickets are non-refundable (Unless postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19). We will post any further updates here.
Existing ticket holders will always have the option of a refund or credit if an event has been postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19.
We will contact any customers about shows that are impacted by Covid-19, whether the show is postponed or cancelled or if any social distancing measures are put in place.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE SITUATION CHANGES?
We will be updating these FAQs, our website and social media channels as necessary. Please continue to check them for updates.
We appreciate your continued understanding and support in these difficult circumstances.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The Government's latest Information and advice on coronavirus can be found here.
On 16 March 2020 the Government advised a number of further precautionary measures resulting in the current closure to the public of all Reading Borough Council buildings and the postponement of all Reading Arts events until at least mid Oct 2020.