Visiting Free Word and COVID-19 Safety Measures | Free Word

Visiting Free Word and COVID-19 Safety Measures


We have carefully planned and carried out COVID-secure risk assessments to ensure our venue is as safe as possible for audiences, performers and staff. To find out more about the measures we have put in place please click here [link to new covid info tab] 

When booking a ticket, you will be required to provide a phone number so we can support the NHS Track and Trace service. To comply with current government guidance you will not be able to book more than 6 tickets. It’s also important that we can contact you ahead of the event in case of any changes. For more information on how we handle your data please see our privacy policy. 

To support us in keeping the venue safe for everyone, please do not attend the event if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, have been asked to self-isolate or have returned from any non-exempt countries within the last 14 days. If you cannot attend in person, online streaming will be available so you can still enjoy the event or we can offer a full refund of your ticket. 

When you come to the venue, please follow instructions shared by our team and the signage in place around the venue. We very much look forward to welcoming you to Free Word. 


COVID-19 info 

We ask all visitors to be aware of and abide by all relevant current government guidance. 

What are you doing to keep the venue safe and what can I expect? 

We have carried out a full COVID-secure risk assessment for performances and events at Free Word. We have also carried out a full workplace risk assessment covering the offices and day-to-day activities at the venue. Some of the key measures are implementing are as follows: 

  • Enhanced cleaning for the whole building, with upgraded cleaning products and a focus on shared high touch areas (e.g. door handles, lift buttons) 
  • Our ventilation systems will be set to ensure a good flow of refreshed air (whilst keeping the spaces heated) 
  • Hygiene stations around the venue (including hand sanitiser) 
  • Capacities of all spaces greatly reduced to allow for social distancing 
  • Layouts for events updated to allow for social distancing – we will be running events with a cabaret style layout 
  • There will be no door sales for any events to avoid crowding in the foyer. All tickets must be pre-booked via our website or by calling 02073242570 
  • You will be sent details of your entry time to the event. Entry times will be spaced out to avoid crowding in the foyer and outside the building 
  • The area at the front of the building will be cordoned off with a clear area to queue 2 metres apart from each other and a clear area for smokers 
  • Key information about safety measures is displayed on signage at the door 
  • Only four people will be admitted to the foyer at a time – please be prepared to queue outside and be patient 
  • When inside the venue, please keep a 2 metre distance from anyone outside your household at all times 
  • Only groups of up to 6 people can gather at events – please do not mix with other groups
  • A member of our events team will be available to greet you and show you to your seats 
  • We cannot offer a cloakroom facility at this time. Please bring as little as possible. You will be able to bring coats and bags into the events space with you, but you may not be allowed in with bulky items (suitcases and similar). 
  • We will be running table service from our bar, and you can pre-order a drink to be ready upon arrival. We’ll send you details in a pre-show email 
  • Face coverings are required when attending entertainment venues (unless you are exempt). Please bring a face covering and wear it if you can. Face coverings can be removed when you are seated in order to enjoy any food or drink ordered at the bar. Further information on the use of face coverings can be found here. 
  • Toilets in the foyer will be out of use before and after the performance. Please use the toilets located at the back of the Hall (the events team will be on hand to direct you) 
  • We are asking that those falling into the following groups do not enter the venue: 

– Anyone who has symptoms (or lives with anyone who has symptoms) 

– Anyone waiting for test results or has tested positive within the last 14 days 

– Anyone who has been asked to quarantine by NHS track and trace 

– Anyone required to quarantine after returning from overseas travel  


What happens if I cannot attend the event I’ve booked due to COVID-19 related circumstances? 

If you cannot attend an in person event but still wish to participate, you can exchange your ticket for an online event ticket. Where there is a difference in price we will refund this difference. 

If you cannot attend the event in person or online, we will offer you a full refund. 

If you cannot attend, please get in touch with our venue team by emailing or calling 02073242570 and they’ll be happy to help. 


What happens if I start to feel unwell whilst I’m in the venue? 

Please gather your things and make your way to the foyer, taking care to keep at least two metres away from others. Let the welcome desk know that you are leaving due to illness, and give them the name of the lead booker within your group and leave the venue giving as much distance as possible to others. 


Why do I have to give a phone number when booking? 

We are supporting NHS track and trace by keeping a record of everyone who uses the venue. We are required by law to keep records of occupancy for any day we’re open for 21 days. We only need one lead contact for each booking. If you are contacted by NHS track and trace, you will need to provide contact details for everyone in your party.  

It’s also important for us to have contact details in order to contact you if there are any changes to the event (for example postponement due to any changes in government guidance, or cancellation due to health of a performer). 


Can I buy tickets on the door? 

No – in order to avoid congestion in the foyer which would hinder the ability to follow social distancing guidelines we are only taking bookings in advance via our website or by calling 02073242570 (box office currently open 9am – 5pm). This also allows us to set the space up based on the group numbers we know are attending together. 


How can I get to you safely? 

We recommend walking or cycling to the venue if you are able to. There are bicycle parking facilities available on bowling green lane (just round the corner from the venue) and along Farrindon Lane. Please note that bikes cannot be brought into the venue 

If you are using public transport, remember to wear a face covering and wash or sanitise your hands before and after travelling. You can also check out the TFL guidelines on travelling safely. 

However you get to us, there is a hand sanitising station right by the front door and we ask that you make use of this upon arrival. 


Can I pay with cash at the bar? 

No – all bar sales will be via contactless card payment only. You’ll be able to pre-order drinks to be ready at your table upon arrival. You’ll also be able to order drinks throughout the evening using your phone – we’ll send more details about ordering drinks in a pre-show email.  


Will you still run Q&A sessions? 

Yes – for events where a Q&A session is planned you will be able to take part whether you are viewing online or in person. To ensure everyone’s safety at physical events we will only take questions via Twitter (details will be provided in a pre-show email and at the event) or the platform on which the event is being live streamed.