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U.K. LIVE INDUSTRY IN CRISIS 

More than 26,000 permanent jobs will be lost in the U.K. live music industry before the end of the year, with revenues set to fall by 81%, according to a research report that urges extended government support. 

The British government’s furlough scheme, which saw workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis receive up to 80% of their pay, is concluding at the end of this month. As a result, based on research carried out on behalf of live music industry umbrella group LIVE, a total of 170,000 jobs will be lost, including self-employed and freelance workers. 

While the recently distributed Culture Recovery Fund has had a positive effect—early analysis from rounds one and two suggest 10,000 full-time equivalent roles have been saved—80% of live music employees are still reliant on the furlough scheme. An extended Job Support Scheme is scheduled to replace the furlough arrangement, but as the live industry hasn't been able to reopen due to restrictions and is not technically forced to close, it does not qualify.  

With revenue coming into the industry sitting at almost zero since March, the sector is experiencing a drop of 81% year over year—four times the national U.K. average, where reductions across industries run at around 20%, according to the report.

“We were one of the first sectors to close and we will be one of the last to reopen,” Phil Bowdery, Chair of the Concert Promoters Association, said. “We are currently caught in a catch-22 where we are unable to operate due to government restrictions but are excluded from the Extended Job Support Scheme as the furlough comes to an end. If businesses can’t access that support soon, the majority of our specialist, highly trained workforce will be gone.”

CAA U.K. Co-Head Emma Banks said in the report: “We are desperate to maintain a position where we can react quickly when shows start again so we can return to work and earn a livelihood. This cannot happen without targeted assistance to see us through. To deny this leading industry a chance to survive is unacceptable.”

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