British musicians warn of crisis in live music industry
'Government support will be crucial,' artists say
Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones were among some 1,500 musicians who called on Thursday for the British government to help the live music business survive the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"The future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak," the musicians wrote in an open letter to British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
"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."
The letter called for a clear timeline on when music venues could reopen, as well as support for businesses and jobs.
Today Paul joins artists, promotors, agents, venues and more in asking the UK government to protect the live music industry. Share photos and videos of the last show you went to using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetTheMusicPlay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LetTheMusicPlay</a> to show your support! <a href="https://t.co/w7yfeAB0nJ">pic.twitter.com/w7yfeAB0nJ</a>—@PaulMcCartney
Fans aren’t the only ones missing live music experiences…look how much fun Herbie and <a href="https://twitter.com/GustavoDudamel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GustavoDudamel</a> are having at Herbie’s last show before the pandemic at Disney Hall this past March as part of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PowertothePeople?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PowertothePeople</a> Festival. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetTheMusicPlay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LetTheMusicPlay</a> 📷: Rob Gauthier <a href="https://t.co/3Y3iSsCHPa">pic.twitter.com/3Y3iSsCHPa</a>—@herbiehancock
Dowden responded to the musicians in a tweet on Thursday saying he is "pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back."
He said decisions on reopening of live music venues would be difficult as it relates to the future of social distancing.
I understand the deep anxiety of those working in music & the desire to see fixed dates for reopening<br><br>I am pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back<br><br>These involve v difficult decisions about the future of social distancing, which we know has saved lives—@OliverDowden
Music venues, concerts and festivals — including the annual summer Glastonbury festival — were shuttered or cancelled in March when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the country.
Britain, whose death toll from pandemic is approaching 55,000, showed a Reuters tally of official data sources, is in the process of gradually reopening retail stores, schools and pubs.
From the very start of my own career, playing live concerts up and down the country has been a cornerstone for my own career. <br>I am proud to have had the chance to play through all the levels…small clubs, then theatres and ballrooms and into arenas—@DUALIPA
The industry urgently needs Govt support in the interim period before all the various venues, festivals & promoters are ready and able to operate independently again. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetTheMusicPlay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LetTheMusicPlay</a>—@DUALIPA
The musicians in the letter said live music added £4.5 billion pounds (about $5.6 billion US) to the British economy and supported 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
The appeal was signed by musicians across genres and generations, including Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, Coldplay, Sting and Dua Lipa, as well as producers and operators of concert halls and clubs.
for everyone’s sake it is so vital that the music venues and businesses suffering in this climate receive appropriate funding. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/letthemusicplay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#letthemusicplay</a> <a href="https://t.co/xYMD5YtMUb">pic.twitter.com/xYMD5YtMUb</a>—@DeclanMcKenna