UK Music calls on government for “restart date” for live music in 2021

The organisation published a new report today about restarting the industry safely.

UK Music has shared a new report that outlines its recommendations for restarting the UK’s live music industry, once it is safe to do so, calling on the government to introduce various support measures for events and venues.

The report follows England and Scotland’s entry into a new lockdown period, set to last until the spring, raising more fears that 2021 will be the second year in a row without a summer festival season. UK Music’s report outlines the cultural importance of live music, and what organisers, venues and the industry as a whole need as the pandemic’s impact continues to grow.

A notable measure the report calls for is COVID-19-specific cancellation insurance for music events, the lack of which UK Music said in a release alongside the new report “is the biggest barrier to major events happening in 2021.”

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UK Music also noted that music will be a key factor in restarting the UK’s economy in a post-COVID-19 landscape: “With its pre-Covid contribution to the UK economy of £5.8 billion, the music industry can play a leading role in galvanising the UK’s post-pandemic recovery strategy when the time comes – but it needs time and support to prepare.”

Another key call made in the report is one for a concrete restart date. The uncertainty of what measures will be in place in the future is, unsurprisingly, one thing that stops organisers of large events from being able to plan across 2021.

UK Music’s CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin noted the hope that the beginning of the vaccine rollout: “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.

“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.”

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is also scheduled to give evidence to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into music festivals today, which will ask whether festivals can be viable this summer.

You can read the full report here.

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