• Liam Machin

REPORT: Live music can lead post-pandemic recovery

With capacities and trading hours reduced up to 75% at grassroots venues and many facing a difficult road ahead, the need for a post-pandemic plan is clear to see.


In its latest report, Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021, UK Music puts forward its own strategy as well as revealing the severe amount of losses for the live music industry this year.


Some of the most alarming statistics from the report include a potential grassroots redundancies prediction rate of 60.4%, up to 80% of musicians income in 2020 was lost and a 90.2% drop in revenue for festivals in 2020.


Even with the tiered systems in place allowing some live action, grassroots venues are still massively impacted operating at 24% capacity in Tier 1 and 12% capacity in Tier 2.


Perhaps the most disheartening statistic of them all though comes from a survey by the Musicians’ Union which found up to 71% of creators are considering leaving the industry due to the current situation.


UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight.


“Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.”


Despite the government's £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund and the brilliant fundraising efforts, without clear direction, the live music scene needs time to understand the landscape once the process of rolling out the vaccine is underway.


The key calls for action in the report are as followed:

  • An indicative date for a full capacity restart

  • A Government-backed reinsurance scheme - similar to the film and TV sector.

  • Targeted financial support for the sector

  • Extension to the VAT rate reduction on tickets

  • Rollover of the paid 2020 Local Authority licence fees for festivals to 2021

  • Extension to business rates relief

UK Music is also launching a new campaign to raise more awareness of the situation with the community hashtag #SaveOurSummer2021.


Njoku-Goodwin concluded: “In this report, UK Music is putting forward a clear plan for recovery: what we need to do to get the live performance sector back up on its feet again in 2021. But the clock is ticking, and any day soon we could see major festivals and events start pulling the plug for lack of certainty.


“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival - but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”

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