UK live music has been one of the UK’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 venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
Like other countries such as Germany and Australia, we need the Government to help the music industry, which contributes £5.2 billion to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs to ensure it remains world-leading following the damage caused by this pandemic.
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.
On July 2nd 2020, UK Music and members of the UK Live Music Group, alongside a coalition of live music businesses including artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures launched a campaign, Let The Music Play, to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy.
Read more to find out what we are asking for, why it is needed, what we are doing and what you can do.
Our three key asks of the Government are:
1. A clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing
2. An immediate comprehensive business and employment support package* and access to finance.
3. Full VAT exemption on ticket sales. * The business and employment support package should include a Government-backed insurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead; an extension of the furlough scheme and help for the self-employed and sole traders to prevent mass redundancies; rent breaks for venues to allow them to reopen; an extension of business rate relief to the entire live music supply chain to protect our ecosystem, large single event premises license fees for festivals to be rolled over to 2021 and financial support for lost box office income to support reopening and recovery, which would also support performers, songwriters, composers and their representatives.
What we are doing?
Artists across the industry such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lip and Paul McCartney have joined together to sign a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for support. Read the letter here and the full list of names here.
What can you do?
On Wednesday 8 July Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP will deliver a Summer Economic Update.
Please write to your local MP and ask them call on the Chancellor to support Let The Music Play.
You can find your local MP here.
Support the campaign on social media with #LetTheMusicPlay. Download assests here.
• 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 to 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 plans 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 sills, which will be impossible to replace, even if the industry is able to return to economic viability post-Covid-19.
Tagged: live music, let the music play, covid-19, coronavirus,
The Music Venue Trust charity has launched a fundraising campaign - #saveourvenues - to help save over 500 grassroots gig venues in the UK from the threat of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Music Venue Trust says that there are current 556 venues at risk of closure since live concerts were indefinitely stopped last month.
They have enlisted the help of Frank Turner, no stranger himself to many a grassroots venue to encourage Artists, Music Fans & Local Communities to act together to prevent their local grassroots music venue from permanently closing.
Visit http://saveourvenues.co.uk to find out how you can get involved.
At the moment, there are no Essex venues listed as being under threat.
If you know any that are, contact Music Venue Trust to set up a crowdfunding page.
Southend based Alt Rockers Counting The Killers have released their debut single 'Winter', accompanied by the topically named Covid Isolation Mix lyric video. The single recently received its first airplay on Phoenix Fm.
The band were formed August last year by Ben Robbins (Vocals) & Dave Pankhurst (Guitar/Vocals). They were soon joined by AD Walsingham (Guitar), Steve Card (Bass) and Luke Smith (Drums).
Like most other bands, Counting The Killers are currently denied the opportunity to get out on the road due to Covid 19.
You can support them by heading over to their website and downloading the single for £1 from https://www.countingthekillers.com
They also have T-Shirts & other merch available with 15% discount with the code CTKWINTER2020
The single is also available to stream on all major digital outlets.
Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester are holding a fundraiser for MIND on Friday 13th. March. And they have a stunning line-up to tempt you: SHOOTY & THE BANG BANG + THE MEFFS + ELEPHANT JANE + THE UPSY DAISIES + DJ BEN HOWARD.
Mental Health issues effect just about every family in the UK, and they are hopeful that people will turn out in force to support this wonderful charity, and it's only 5 quid entry for this fantastic evening's entertainment!.
Tickets £5 on the door.
Doors 8pm on the top floor of Three Wise Monkeys Colchester.
Strictly over 18s.
The Green Party have announced a groundbreaking event, brand new for 2020. Two days of free informative workshops covering a wide range of Green ideas and policies; amazing guest speakers; and two whole evenings of live music - this is sure to be the biggest Green-festival South Essex has ever seen!
With a brilliant open-mic style Lightning Talks session, and two incredible evenings of free live music from Tuppenny Bunters, David Woodcock, The Penny Antics, Leo C, Ren Stedman, Frankie Roe, The Ondines, Tim Sinnott & John Bulley, and many more - there’s loads of reasons to stick around for the social mixers in the evenings!
They will be joined by amazing and inspiring Guest Speakers including;
Catherine Rowett, Professor of Philosophy at UEA and the first Green MEP for Eastern Region,
Caroline Russell, Green London Assembly Member and Green National Transport Spokesperson,
Benali Hamdache, Co-Chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens.
There will be several incredible experts leading informative group workshops on;
Universal Basic Income: The end to poverty and homelessness - with community activist Sherry Fuller.
The Circular Economy: Transitioning from wasteful production to sustainability by design - with SEEGP Coordinator James Vessey-Miller.
The Green Energy Revolution: Transitioning to a low-carbon future through efficiency - with Dr Terence Lewis MSC BSC EMA.
Hosted by South East Essex Green Party at the wonderful The Railway Hotel Southend, this event is sure to be popular, so secure your spaces now!
Essex/East London based Grime Punk duo Nova Twins have announced a European tour commencing March 3rd in Lille France, returning to Blighty with a home town gig @ Colours Hoxton on April 23rd & culminating at Kendal Calling festival in the lake district on July 30th.
Check out their full schedule here.
The girls have been hard at work on their debut Album 'Who Are The Girls?' which you can pre-save here.
PMT, Southend's premier music shop has teamed up with one of Southend's coolest music venues to open a brand new space for local musicians!
Hayseed Dixie, the self described "Undisputed world heavyweight creators of the musical genre, "Rockgrass" are back with a new album 'Blast From The Grass' out February 14th.
The band say, "It will be the best thing you buy this year, or it won't be." The band may hail from Tennessee, they have for a while now featured on Mandolin, Basildon's very own champion of live music Hippy Joe Hymas. Joe takes a starring role in the bands new video for 'Staying Alive', see our Video of the Week on the right.
You can read Joe's story on our Meet The Promoter page.
The Album will also be released on vinyl on Record Store Day on April 18.
Saturday 8th February, Southend Alt/Folk duo Whom By Fire return to their spiritual home The Railway Hotel in Southend with their expanded 6 piece ensemble.
Entry is FREE with whip ‘round. Their recent releases (Bible Black Album / Ensemble EP) are now available to stream & download on Bandcamp.
Multi award-winning folk singer Seth Lakeman will release his new album ‘A Pilgrim’s Tale’ on February 7th 2020, in a year that marks four centuries since The Mayflower ship departed the UK. The album will be released amidst a selection of UK concerts where Seth will visit locations significant to the Mayflower tale, including dates in London, Plymouth, Immingham and Harwich. This stirring and beautiful record is narrated by the actor Paul McGann (Dr Who/Withnail and I/Hornblower/Luther), and features a host of guest performers including Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman.
“If you’d never heard anything about the Mayflower and the birth of the modern USA these words and music could be your primer.”- Seth Lakeman
Released by BMG the album is available to pre-order from listnin.co/SethLakeman-APilgrimsTale. The first track ‘Watch Out’ is now available to stream/buy from listnin.co/WatchOut. Fans who order the album will be able to download ‘Watch Out’ immediately.
Listen to ‘Watch Out’ here youtu.be/oy3JKL5mXBI
To coincide with the album’s release, Seth will play live dates specially routed in a trail of towns and cities that, for various reasons, hold significance to the Mayflower journey. Locations such as Immingham - where Separatists made a dangerous escape from England to Holland in their search for religious freedom - and Dartmouth - where the ship was anchored for repairs - will be visited in this expansive tour.
See www.sethlakeman.co.uk for ticket links.