The music industry is facing irreparable damages. Here are some facts running alongside the campaign and a way you can help, let your voice be heard.
Today, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign started, calling for the government to take action; the music industry requires help from them in order for gigs to go ahead when it is safe to do so and grass-root venues to be able to continue without mass job loss. Covid-19 has affected all sectors in the UK, and the Arts has taken the hit far worse than others, it’s at the point of irreparable damage. It was one of the first to have been shut down and it will be the last to get back up and running again.
90% of grass-root venues are under threat of closure, and jobs are on the line. We as a music community and being a part of the industry, stand united and ask the government for a £50 million cash injection that would save venues from closing their doors for good. Currently, the music and the arts industry pump £5 billion into the UK’s economy, and the money we are asking for today is a little amount in comparison…
Music is a lifeline for a lot of people, going to venues, having a pint and spending time with friends is something others count on. Music is not just the music itself, it’s the crews, the writers, the bar staff, the technicians. So many individuals make a show what it is. A gig is the energy you feel when you watch your favourite artist or band, it’s something beautiful and the government needs to listen to us more than ever. We are calling for the government to take action, to think about the cultural damage that this could have on our country as a whole if the industry is not supported.
The Music Union (musicunion.org.uk) put together a list of facts and statistics based off of this campaign.
- 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. We are supporting the Music Venue Trust’s call for a £50 million cash injection to ensure vital parts of the music industry do not go out of business.
- The core live music industry generates £1.1 billion to the economy and impacts other parts of the economy including tourism to the tune of £4.5 billion.
- Musicians earn an average of £23,000 a year, well below the national average. Their income is under further threat due to the cancellation of live music because performances represent a major 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 in 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 plan 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 technical skills, which will be impossible to replace, even if the industry is able to return to economic viability post-Covid-19.
Please sign the petition from the Concert Promoters Association to have your voice heard and to save grass-root venues.
Photo Credit: Alex Thomson