How many concerts have you been to? Any event you’ve been to with LIVE music, include it in that question. Concerts, Raves, Club nights, Pride, Festivals. Count it all. All of them are at risk.
I’ve been to over 100, at least. This ranges from small capacity venues to bigger ones. Do you remember how it made you feel? I do. Every single one has a memory, a good one. When I was dealing with severe anxiety and couldn’t leave the house without a panic/anxiety attack, the only time that it didn’t occur is if I was going to a concert. Being in a pub with 100 people was not good for me, however being in a venue with over 1000 people, I felt at home and I felt safe. I admit, I listen to music more than the average person on a daily basis, this is something I’m extremely passionate about, however it’s in all our lives. Nobody can deny that.
If you love music, then you love live music. No matter what scale you enjoy that on. Some people are quite happy listening to a local singer in a pub, some of us want Glastonbury and Wembley Stadium in our lives. The common denominator here is it being live.
It’s easy to say ‘Oh musicians have loads of money, why do the government need to pay out’. First of all, you’re wrong. You’re thinking of Ed Sheeran. Signed artists with huge labels behind them have a fair bit of money, but not everyone is signed, or has the success he has. However, this is not just about artists. This is about the venues you see them in. The venues that provide a safe space for you and the artists you love to connect with each other. This is about the people behind the scenes. The individuals that set up these events, who organise everything. Who makes everything happen. The promoters, the touring companies, the smaller artists that are just starting out and so forth. This is the whole live music industry.
It’s 4th July. ’Super Saturday’ the government have called it. You’re going to the pub, you’re getting your hair done. Your bang average Saturday. It’s all getting back to normal you’ve told your mates. While you’re sat saying that, there is 85,000 people who have lost their jobs due to Music Festivals being cancelled this year. Over 50% of the live music workforce, the people who makes your ‘summer’ happen, your weekend ‘lit’ are facing unemployment. 90% of Grassroots venues (independent venues) are facing closure. You’ve come to terms with there being no live music this year. Your concerts have been rearranged till next year, your festival tickets remain valid for next year. It’s annoying but it’s whatever.
The truth is there will be no next year for Live Music if the industry has gone broke.
Football and Pubs thats our ‘culture’. Live Music is also our culture. Our generation LIVE for festival season. From January 1st that’s all people are counting down for. We’re home to some of the biggest festivals in the world. Home to the most popular arenas. The government have protected the football, and the pubs. It’s now time to protect Live Music. It’s already severely underfunded, regardless of covid, but thats another conversation. It’s time for them to step up. Wetherspoons has received a £48.3m pay out from the government. That’s just one pub branch. The ENTIRE music industry is asking for 50m.
Here are some key facts I’ve got from ukmusic.org
- 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.
- 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 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.
- The core live music industry stands to lose at least £900 million if it remains closed for the rest of 2020.
Read more HERE
Artists have done their bit. It’s now for us consumers to do ours.
Email your local MP and ask them to support the campaign, and ask them to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to also support let the music play.
Thanks for coming to my ted talk. Enjoy the football, pubs and your fresh trims. x
*Featured image is not my photography. This was downloaded from Unsplash. Credit to user Nainoa Shizuru @nainoa.