As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the live music industry is facing a crisis, and so today in an attempt to encourage the government to take action, the campaign #LetTheMusicPlay has been set up.
An open letter has been sent to culture secretary Oliver Dowden signed by thousands of artists, crews, and venues, with Dua Lipa, Blur, FKA Twigs, The 1975, Nick Cave, IDLES, Biffy Clyro and loads more among the thousands of names.
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 £4.5bn 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 venues, 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.”
Alongside this, hundreds of artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and other people across the industry will posting films and photos of their last live gig under the banner #LetTheMusicPlay. Fans are also encouraged to post about the last gig they went to, all in a mass show of support for the UK’s world-leading live music industry during its shutdown.
As a statement explains, “Hundreds of grassroots music venues face closure, much of the workforce faces redundancy, and the talented supply chain that makes shows happen is crumbling. This is our chance to be heard above all sectors, and to show the vital importance of live music in the UK.”