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U.K. LIVE BIZ SUES GOVERNMENT

The U.K. live-music industry is suing the British government for refusing to publish the results of its Events Research Programme, leaving events organizers and workers in peril. The lawsuit intends to force its hand.

Results from the report, which were scheduled to be released Monday, will reveal whether the government has any scientific basis for its decision to maintain restrictions on events following the four-week delay of its reopening plan, reports IQ. The report also contains safety guidance for event organizers, the lack of which is forcing summer festivals like Kendal CallingTruck and Let’s Rock to cancel for a second year. Further decisions are expected soon. 

Umbrella trade body LIVE and theater businesses including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group filed the suit, which contends that the government has “flagrantly breached the ‘duty of candour’ which requires it to be transparent when faced with a legal challenge and that none of the reasons given for withholding the Events Research Programme material they seek withstand scrutiny.”

The lawsuit is the “inevitable outcome of the government's refusal to work with the sector to create evidenced-based secure events,” said Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust. “The ball is firmly in the government's court.”

The parties have asked the court to consider their application as soon as possible. Organizations represented by LIVE include the Association of Independent Festivals, Featured Artist CoalitionMusic Venue TrustMusic Managers Forum and Association of Independent Promoters.

During a parliamentary debate Tuesday, the government ignored calls from MPs to release the report in full. The debate followed last week's demands from the live industry to see the results. 

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