Manchester music venues Deaf Institute and Gorilla to close
(Credit: Alani Cruz)

Over 1,400 artists urge the government to stop “catastrophic damage” to live music

The likes of Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Nick Cave and The Rolling Stones are among over 1,400 artists who have signed an open letter to the government for the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign which demands immediate action to prevent “catastrophic damage” to the music industry.

This collective drive comes after the Music Venue Trust penned a letter signed by over 560 of their venues calling for a £50million cash injection to save the “world-beating £5.2billion per year music industry”. The move, if sanctioned, would allow these treasured spaces to “hibernate” until October and prevent their permanent closure.

Around 92% of festival businesses are also reportedly at risk of going under and have asked for government assistance to ensure that they “make it to next year without being wiped out”.

Now, over 1,400 artists including the likes of Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa, Nick Cave, Lewis Capaldi and Coldplay have signed an open letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. They are bidding to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.

“Amazing gigs don’t happen without an amazing team behind the stage, but they’ll all be out of jobs unless we can get back out there doing what we love,” said Gallagher.

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis added: “If the Government doesn’t step up and support the British arts, we could lose vital aspects of our culture forever.”

Read the full letter, below:

“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 £4.5billion 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 promoters, festival organisers, and 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.”

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