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Dance music sector calls for confirmation clubs will be included in government’s COVID support scheme

By | Published on Friday 24 July 2020


DJs, producers, promoters and other executives from across the UK’s dance music community yesterday launched the #LetUsDance campaign calling on the government to confirm that the clubbing sector will be able to access financial support from the previously announced £1.57 billion fund set up to assist cultural businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Although ministers made that significant financial commitment to support the cultural and heritage industries earlier this month, it’s still not entirely clear how ‘culture’ is being defined. Music venues are definitely included, because that was specifically stated from the off, but it’s not yet been confirmed if clubs that predominantly stage DJ-centric nights will also qualify for support.

It also still remains unclear to what extent other music businesses will qualify too. The Association Of Festival Organisers has been told festivals will be able to apply for grants under the COVID scheme, though the dance music sector is also looking for confirmation that that will include its large-scale events.

Launching the #LetUsDance campaign yesterday, Michael Kill of the Night Time Industries Association told reporters: “The NTIA warmly welcomes the announcement by the government that £1.57 billion will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations. But we are keen to gain assurances … that dance music venues and nightclubs will be eligible to apply for the funding and that it will not be reserved purely for venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the West End. The UK is home to a rich and diverse range of institutions, all of whom should be fairly entitled to this investment”.

Meanwhile, Greg Marshall from the Association For Electronic Music added: “Nightclubs and festivals are the beating heart of the UK dance scene; providing collective joy to millions of fans each year, providing employment and incomes for an interdependent network of hundreds of thousands of people, while contributing hundreds of millions to the economy. We call on the government to recognise this sector as a significant part of the nation’s art and culture, and ensure fair and equal access to the support offered to the wider live music sector”.

Inspired by the recent music industry-wide #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, which similarly called for government support for COVID-hit music companies, the #LetUsDance initiative asks dance music fans to post photos of nights and events they attended pre-lockdown alongside a note calling for clubbing and electronic music to be treated the same as all the other cultural sectors when it comes to COVID support. Said fans are also encouraged to write to their MPs to say the same.

Artists backing the scheme include Adam Beyer, Andy C, Caribou, Charlotte De Witte, Daniel Avery, Eats Everything, Fatboy Slim, Four Tet, Danny Rampling, Maya Jane Coles, Massive Attack, Mistajam, Norman Jay, Pete Tong, Roni Size, Simone Butler and Thom Yorke.