Information for Audience Members

Please be aware that this code is intended to keep us all as safe as we can be, and to reduce the risks wherever possible associated with COVID-19.

Compliance to this code is a way of showing respect for fellow audience members whilst on site at the Blackburn Empire, any non-compliance could result in the jeopardising of public health which is a risk we cannot take, and therefore all mandatory items listed below must be adhered to for entry to the Theatre:

  • First and foremost audience members should carry out their own personal risk assessment prior to attending the event. Audience members should take into consideration your age, health status and clinical vulnerability, and that of any others attending within their party.
  • Every audience member will be asked to sanitise their hands on arrival and a every audience member may be asked to have a temperature check.
  • Your booking should only contain up to 6 people from any number of households.
  • Travel to and from the Blackburn Empire must also be considered within your decision to attend the Theatre. Owing to social distancing, local public transport service providers might only be able to offer limited services with reduced capacities and reduced timetables so we ask that where you are looking to use public transport to attend the venue, you plan your use of public transport carefully and refer to the latest guidance from the public transport providers.
  • Tickets should be purchased in advance and Test and Trace details will be required to be left. All tickets will be available from We would encourage you to use the NHS COVID app to scan the barcode for this purpose.
  • Audience hygiene
    • At all times and in all areas of Blackburn Empire Theatre, please observe social distancing and avoid close contact with any others not in your group. This means keeping 2 metres apart whenever possible.
    • We ask that all Audience members maintain good hand hygiene, please use the sanitiser stations provided around the venue and avoid touching your face or any unnecessary surfaces. Our team may also ask you to sanitise your hands. Please cooperate with them.
    • Please observe respiratory etiquette and always cover your mouth if needing to cough or sneeze. Do not remove your mask to talk.
  • Food and Drink
    Please be advised that you are not permitted to bring your own food and drink to the venue
  • Arrival at the Blackburn Empire
    • Audience Members will be permitted access to the Theatre 45 minutes prior to the published show start time, any queuing will take place in on the pavement on Aqueduct Road. Please follow the markings to help you maintain your distance. Earlier arrival to the building will not be possible. Please be prepared for the weather, as you may have to wait outside as we allow audience members to enter.
    • There are no toilet facilities before entering the building.
    • At the point of entering the Blackburn Empire we will supply all audience members with a face mask, but please bring your own if you can. Audience members will be instructed to wear this mask whilst inside the venue. This is for the combined protection of staff and all audience members.
    • As you enter the building wearing your face mask, your contactless ticket will be scanned, and you will be taken by one of our Customer Safety Team directly to your allocated seat or row. Tickets can be printed or displayed on a mobile device.
    • Please note that the bars will be open to buy and take drinks and food back to your seat. Drinks cannot be consumed in the bar area.
    • When you are shown to your designated seat we ask that you remain in your seat whilst other member of the audience are being seated.
    • If an Audience member needs to utilise the toilet facilities during a show, they should try to wait until a suitable interval, follow the direction markings and continue to wear their facemask. Our Customer Safety Team will be there to offer help an guidance.
    • To minimise face-to-face contact we insist that all Audience Members turn their backs if they need to pass other members of the audience.
    • Whilst in the Theatre, please follow signs and obey instructions from staff and public address announcements.
    • At the end of the performance, we will allow audience members to exit one row at a time and this will be done via the designated exit aisles. We ask that all audience members remain seated until we indicate to them that their aisle is ready to leave.
    • Any members of the audience with accessible tickets, including wheelchair spaces, are encouraged to notify the staff and will be escorted to the front of any queues to give more time for entry, and to be assisted if required.
  • Audience Members must not attend the venue if they are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and agree that if any member of their party was to develop Covid-19 symptoms in the interim, that they will not attend the Theatre. A list of Covid-19 symptoms is shown below:
  • Cough in the last 7 days
  • Unusual Shortness of Breath on activity for two or more consecutive days
  • New Shortness of Breath at rest
  • Fever/Feeling Hot/Sweating
  • Loss of Smell
  • Loss of Taste
  • Red Eyes or Sticky Eyes
  • Diarrhoea
  • New Runny Nose
  • New Blocked Nose
  • Sore Throat

Please remember that this guidance is there to ensure we can all enjoy a safe visit to the theatre.

Please be polite and cooperative with our staff and audience members at all times. These rules are not open to interpretation and the theatre’s decision will be final.

You may be asked to leave if you do not follow any of these rules.

Hygiene and Safety

Can you tell me how you will be managing the extra hygiene issues required due to the COVID-19 situation?

The Blackburn Empire Theatre is undertaking a number of measures for your comfort and safety:
• A deep clean of the venue has been undertaken.
• An increased daily cleaning regime will be in operation.
• Hand sanitisers will be available at all entrances and throughout the building for staff, performers and customers.
• Staff and volunteer training has been undertaken so that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and hygiene routine to be followed.
• All staff and volunteers will be supplied with PPE as needed.
• If you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 please do not come to the theatre.
• We ask all audience members to wear a face covering. If you do not have your own we will supply a disposable face covering.
• Non-contact temperature checks will apply to all staff, performers and customers on arrival. If you are recorded has having a raised temperature, you will not be admitted, but a full refund or alternative performance will be offered. Our admin team will contact you by email. Refunds cannot be arranged on the night of an event.
• Audience numbers will be limited to ensure safe social distancing measures can be complied with
• Crowd control measures including audience entrance and exit and flow through the venue, to toilets, leaving etc. will be implemented. Please follow all directions from our staff and volunteers.

What about Social Distancing?

Capacity for each performance is limited to comply with current social distancing. If these rules are relaxed we will increase capacity as allowed.

Tickets are on sale as unallocated seating as best available.

Rule of 6

In line with the governments’ guidance on ‘Rule of 6’ if your party is of 6 or less you can still all sit together as a family. You must all be from the same household or social bubble to comply with current local restrictions. We may contact you in advance of the show to confirm this, please understand this is for everyone’s safety.

If you have booked more than 6 tickets already for a show we will be in touch with individual ticket holders.

Your party will all be seated in the same area but we will need to apply social distancing guidelines so that a maximum of 6 people will be sat together. You will be shown to your seats. Please do not move seats. Every group will have a minimum of two empty seats between them. You should not occupy these seats of leave any of your personal possessions on these seats.

If you have any specific seating requirements (aisle etc) please add a note to your booking with your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you. However we cannot guarantee specific seats.

Staff will be available to help you if you lose any of this information.


I want to buy Drinks or Ice Cream

For your safety and comfort there will be limited opportunities to buy items at the theatre and you will not be able to visit the bar. Ice-creams and drinks will be available online when booking tickets for shows and we would encourage you to book these in advance. They will be brought to your seat.. Please note, to avoid additional social contact, we won’t be selling merchandise and programmes this year. Any purchases at the event are preferred by contactless payments whenever possible.


Why can’t I Choose my Seats?

Due to the current Coronavirus situation we are preparing to allow a level of social distancing for our audience for their comfort and safety. This has meant we have had to reduce our overall capacity for our beautiful venue.

Tickets are on sale as best available seating. You will be allocated extra free seats automatically to allow for effective social distancing & every other row will be closed. You may only book one ticket type per booking and ALL the people on that booking must be from the same household or social bubble. The maximum group size is 6. You will be notified which row you are on, but seat numbers are not guaranteed.

If you have any specific seating requirements (aisle etc) please add a note to your booking with your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you. However we cannot guarantee specific seats.

If you require an accessible / wheelchair place YOU MUST NOT BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE – Please email or message us through our Facebook page. We cannot accept phone enquiries at the moment.

Will you still have Accessible Seats and Companion Tickets?

Yes we do. Our accessible seats in the stalls will still be available but the number may be reduced due to social distancing. YOU CAN NOT BOOK THESE TICKETS ONLINE

Full details of how to book and eligibility, please email

My Baby is under 2. Will I still be able to bring them and keep them in my arms?

Yes, Babes in Arms are still allowed for all children aged 2 and under who will sit on a parent/guardian lap throughout the show.

I want to bring a School Group to the Panto?

We have dedicated schools performances. Tickets for Schools/Education Groups at these performances are available at a reduced rate. You can reserve and book in for these performances by emailing

What happens if Theatres are not allowed to Open in December?

If for any reason we are not allowed by the government to put on the show we will issue refund of the ticket or offer you tickets for another show at the same value.

Travel and Parking

How do I get to the Blackburn Empire?

You can find full details of how to get to us by car, taxi, bus, train here.

What Parking is there near the Theatre?

Free public parking is available opposite the theatre on Aqueduct Road.