Events & Festival associations, business and people who work in the industry are coming together to raise the profile of a summer without shows this year and the support needed to sustain this important part of the UK economy.
Thousands of event and festival caterers have lost a summer’s trading and there has not been any direct support from Government as yet – as a result a huge number of businesses have been left in limbo and have begun to campaign again together to bring this to the attention of DCMS.
The UK’s music industry came together on 2/7/20 under the banner of the #LetTheMusicPlay in order to highlight the crisis faced by the live music sector.
The purpose of the collective campaign was to make as loud a noise as possible to ensure the Government gets the message that the UK live music industry must be protected- the festivals, venues, workforce, infrastructure and companies that make up the industry.
The first stage of the campaign was a letter to secretary of state for DCMS Oliver Dowden which now has signatures from hundreds of artists including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, the Rolling Stones, Take That, Sam Smith, Beverley Knight, Eric Clapton, Muse etc, alongside thousands of crew.
Here is the letter that was sent to Oliver Dowden:
‘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, production companies, agents and many 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.’
The next stage was sharing the #LetTheMusicPlay across social channels and media. The campaign was shared hundreds of thousands of times and generated huge amounts of press coverage but it can’t stop there, we’ll be continuing to work closely with our friends across events and festival associations such as AIF, NOEA AFO & EIF to find solutions and push for support.
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 assets here.
Find out more about the campaign here https://www.ukmusic.org/policy/let-the-music-play
The next campaign to go live is #LightItInRed
#LightItInRed is a UK based direct action lighting protest that is scheduled to take place on the night of Monday 6th July 2020 … to draw attention to the critical condition of the UK live event and entertainment industry and its need for special government support to see it through to re-starting.
The dynamic “creative sector” which includes live entertainment, music, events, theatre, performance, and the arts generates around £110 billion annually (based on DCMS figures) for the UK economy … and is known for its invention, passion, and flair.
Currently, unlike other industries, there is no set date for live events, shows, festivals and performances, etc. to restart after the Covid-19 shut down.
The #LightItInRed action was inspired by #NightofLight in Germany on 22nd June, which saw over 9000 buildings, monuments, structures, towers, landmarks, castles, offices, houses, spaces and places illuminated in “Emergency Red” to raise awareness and grab the attention of the public and the government.
#LightItInRed initiators, Steven Haynes from Clearsound Productions and Phillip Berryman from The Backstage Theatre Jobs Forum, state that the target for this action is to get “1000 buildings and monuments, etc.” lit up in red all around the UK.
This is a shout out to the lighting, laser, AV, and video community – companies and individuals – who are involved in events, theatre, performance, and live production! Anyone with access to a light source who can register to be part of this highly significant action!
Check www.lightitinred.co.uk for all the relevant details and how to register locations that will be illuminated.
The social links are:
Facebook: @lightitinred / Twitter: @LightItInRed / Instagram: @light_it_in_red
We want to hear from you – if you would like to share your opinion or tell us your story, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org