IT IS unclear whether the government has heeded the appeal of over 1,500 artistes in early July to with its announcement of aid for culture, arts and heritage institutions.
Whether the industry’s #letthemusicplay campaigned influenced its decision to allocate £4.5 billion to support the live entertainment sector is debatable, but the funding is widely welcomed.
Organised by the Concert Promoter’s Association (CPA) and the National Arenas Association, with the backing of many other trade groups, a #letthemusicplay letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, signed by 1,500 artistes including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, The xx and Dua Lipa, appealed for urgent action.
The £1.57bn to be distributed across theatres, museums, classical music and opera, as well as the contemporary music sector.
“Live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade,” said the letter. “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. 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.”
It estimates the sector employs 210,000 people and that the impact on employment, without further government help will be “devastating”.
“Amazing gigs don’t happen without an amazing team behind the stage, but they’ll all be out of jobs unless we can get back out there, ” says Liam Gallagher, who also supported the campaign.
CPA chairman Phil Bowdery says, “Our shut-down is likely to go on for much longer than most [sectors], with many concerts and festivals unable to operate until 2021. Without rapid government support, the long-term impact will be devastating.”