Today, the UK’s music industry is coming together under the banner of the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign in order to highlight the crisis faced by the live music sector.
The purpose of this collective campaign is to make as loud a noise as possible to ensure the Government gets the message that the UK live music industry must be protected - the festivals, venues, artists, workforce, infrastructure and companies that make up the industry.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
As an independent festival and a proud member of the Association of Independent Festivals, today we will be dedicating our socials to this campaign to support the live industry sector and UK Music, please join us in supporting this.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
In order to show the scale of support for the live music industry, we are asking EVERYONE to please share videos and images of their last live gig / festival on their socials TODAY under the banner of #LetTheMusicPlay . It does not have to be our event, although we would love it if it was and you tagged us in, but this is about supporting and protecting the industry and all that work in it, not just our festival. So please get sharing people and let’s see all of your lovely videos and images under #letthemusicplay
WHAT IS UK MUSIC ASKING OF THE GOVERNMENT?
A clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing.
An immediate comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance.
Full VAT exemption on ticket sales.
KEY FACTS – DID YOU KNOW?
The core live music industry stands to lose at least £900 million if it remains closed for the rest of 2020.
An estimated 30-50% of the live music industry’s workforce are facing unemployment, leading to a catastrophic loss of skills.
The UK is home to the most popular arenas in the world yet they are set to lose five million visitors due to COVID-19.
Music festivals support 85,000 jobs, but with the entire summer cancelled, many are currently facing collapse with 59% redundancies expected across the sector without further support
90% of grassroots music venues are under threat of closure.
According to Media Insight Consulting the live music industry and spend associated with events added £4.5bn to the economy in 2019 and supported 210,000 jobs across the country.
Musicians earn an average income of £23k, well below the national average. This is under further threat due to the cancellation of live music as performances represent significant sources of income for musicians, composers and songwriters.
Live music needs VAT relief on future ticket sales. It would save the live music industry up to £300 million each year and hugely help in its recovery.
Music plays an important role to the economy. UK concert-goers spend almost double on live music events than those in France and Italy combined.
The UK live music industry is the second biggest in the world but is at risk of falling behind. Following COVID-19 the German government has provided €150 million to its live music industry.
The UK is host to the world’s biggest and most famous greenfield festival – Glastonbury and the world’s most successful ticketed venue – The O2. Every year almost 30 million music fans attend thousands of festivals, arenas, concert halls and grassroots venues.
Live music events have a profound impact on local economies – Glastonbury generates £100m a year for local businesses and charities. Ed Sheeran’s 2019 gigs at Chantry Park generated £9m for the Ipswich economy.
The Government’s Job Retention Scheme has provided short term relief to the many live music businesses and employees yet plans to wind down the scheme risk putting livelihoods at risk without further support.
If the UK Government does not provide timely and well-targeted support to the music sector, the industry will lose core physical infrastructure, as well as musical talent and technical skills, which will be impossible to replace, even if the industry is able to return to economic viability post-Covid-19.
LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT - OLIVER DOWDEN
The below letter has today been submitted to the Secretary of State which now has signatures from hundreds of artists including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, the Rolling Stones, Take That, Sam Smith, Beverley Knight, Eric Clapton, Muse etc, alongside thousands of crew.ear Secretary of State,
Dear Secretary of State
UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5bn to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
This sector doesn’t want to ask for government help. The venues, promoters, festival organisers, production companies, agents and many other employers want to be self-sufficient, as they were before lockdown.
But, 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 great world-leading industry.
Government has addressed two important British pastimes - football and pubs - and it’s now crucial that it focuses on a third, live music. For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UK’s global music standing, we must ensure that a live music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed.