July 6, 2020
UK Music says that live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. However, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from the Government yet agreed, the future for venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them “looks bleak”.
UK Music says that like other countries such as Germany and Australia, it wants the Government to help the music industry, which contributes £5.2 billion to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs, “to ensure it remains world-leading following the damage caused by this pandemic”. UK Music claims that until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be “crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry”.
On 2 July 2020 UK Music and members of the UK Live Music Group, alongside a coalition of live music businesses including artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures, launched a campaign, “Let The Music Play”, to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy.
UK Music is calling on the Government for:
- a clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing;
- an immediate comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance; and
- full VAT exemption on ticket sales.
The business and employment support package should include: a Government-backed insurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead; an extension of the furlough scheme and help for the self-employed and sole traders to prevent mass redundancies; rent breaks for venues to allow them to reopen; an extension of business rate relief to the entire live music supply chain to protect the ecosystem; large single event premises licence fees for festivals to be rolled over to 2021; and financial support for lost box office income to support reopening and recovery, which would also support performers, songwriters, composers and their representatives.
Artists across the industry, such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Paul McCartney, have also joined together to sign a letter to Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, calling for support. To read UK Music’s press release in full and for a link to the letter to the Secretary of State, click here.