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ARTISTS JOIN FIGHT FOR LIVE MUSIC GOVERNMENT AID

Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney are among the British artists who have issued an urgent plea for support from the U.K. Government to prevent mass insolvencies before live music is allowed to return.

The appeal, made in a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, is signed by 1,500 artists, many of whom were due to perform at festivals this summer. In addition, 560 venues and nearly 4,000 production crew members have added their names. 

“U.K. live music has been one of the U.K.’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. 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,” the letter says. 

“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.”

As well as supporting 210,000 jobs across the country, venues, concerts, festivals and production companies added £4.5b to the economy in 2019. Many hundreds of redundancies have already been made as a result of the coronavirus crisis with the potential for tens of thousands to follow this year. 

By head of population, the U.K. is the second biggest live music market in the world behind the U.S. By value of ticket sales, it was the fourth biggest in the world in 2019 (behind the U.S., Germany and Japan, according to figures from PWC). Despite its global influence, government support for the sector continues to lag behind other countries. The German government recently announced €150m in financial support for live music as part of a €50b package of grants and loans for the cultural sector, and France has announced a further €50m to “build support plans” for the live music industry. 

Other artists to have signed the letter include SkeptaRita OraColdplayDame Shirley BasseyEric ClaptonAnnie LennoxSam SmithSir Rod StewartLiam GallagherFlorence + the MachineGeorge EzraDepeche ModeIron MaidenLewis Capaldi and Little Mix

To coincide with the letter, people across the industry will today begin posting films and photos of their last live gig under the banner #LetTheMusicPlay. Fans will also be encouraged to post about the last gig they attended to show support for the live music industry during its shutdown. 

 

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