Following the cancellation of this year’s iconic Glastonbury festival, which helped launch the careers of the likes of Ed Sheeran and Radiohead, the UK’s leading music organisation are calling for more support for the music industry.
Ed Sheeran, Sir Paul McCartney and Dua Lipa were among 1,500 artists to sign an open letter from UK Music – the umbrella organisation which represents the collective interests of the UK’s music industry – calling for more support for the music industry in June 2020.
Following the open letter, the government announced a “world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package” for the arts, culture and heritage industries, to help them “weather the impact of coronavirus”, in July 2020.
The UK music industry contributes £5.2 billion to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs, but following the cancellation of the UK’s most iconic music festival, UK music are now calling for more support from the government.
UK Music Chief Executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, said, “It is absolutely critical that the Government look at more financial support for the music industry and those who work in it as a matter of urgency.
“Without more Government help, there is a real risk that some of our world-leading music scene will disappear forever.”
UK Music says that “it is in continuous discussions with Government Ministers and officials about the impact of COVID-19 on the music industry” but since the announcement of the rescue package, there have since been no further announcements of financial support.
Myles Smith, a 22-year-old Nottingham artist who writes and produces music from his bedroom studio in the city, is worried that the pandemic is going to disproportionately affect local artists.
Nottingham is home to a diverse and eclectic range of artists and music genres, from tough talking punk bands to heart warming R&B and soul singers – but Mr Smith says the pandemic may “push a whole generation backwards in terms of their musical progression” if more support isn’t made available for local venues.
He says that the government “absolutely have not done enough” and that more support is need for those who solely rely on the music industry for their income – such as artists, session musicians, tour staff, venue owners and artists themselves.
Myles Smith on the effects of the pandemic on local artists
In a statement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “We continue to help the arts on recovery, including problems around getting insurance.”