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Music industry responds to UK government’s creative industries support package

By | Published on Monday 6 July 2020

Live Music

The UK government announced its £1.57 billion support package for the creative industries at around 10pm last night. As a result, there was no time to change the intro to this week’s Setlist podcast discussing the music industry’s criticism of the ongoing lack of support. That’s two weeks in a row the government has derailed the show with surprise announcements. Bastards!

Similarly caught off guard were representatives of those creative industries, who were forced to get out of bed and/or switch off the latest episode of ‘Tiger King’ (I’ve been very busy, I haven’t had time to update my mental list of what people are watching right now) to write quotes in response. Here are just some of the many, many things people have said so far:

Tom Kiehl, UK Music: “A £1.57 billion support package for the arts is a huge step forward and should be a lifesaver for many music venues. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and DCMS [Digital, Culture, Media And Sport] Minister Caroline Dinenage are to be warmly congratulated”.

“The music industry was one of the first sectors to be hit by measures to tackle COVID-19. UK Music has long called for sector specific support to ensure live music can recover”.

“Eligibility for grants and loans must be as broad as possible to ensure maximum take up from across the industry from those in desperate need of help. Those that don’t have a track record of public funding must also not be put at a disadvantage. We are seeking urgent talks with Arts Council England to discuss further”.

Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust: “Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this unprecedented intervention into Britain’s world-class live music scene. We’d like to thank the Secretary Of State and the team at DCMS for the opportunity to work closely together throughout this crisis to develop genuine solutions to the challenges faced by grassroots music venues. This fund provides the opportunity to stabilise and protect our vibrant and vital network of venues and gives us the time we need to create a plan to safely re-open live music”.

Geoff Taylor, BPI: “We are delighted that the government has recognised the special importance of the arts and creativity – including music – to our national life. We warmly welcome specific mention of our cherished music venues, and to support for the arts, which should also assist our classical music sector”.

“The live music industry, and the artist community that it supports, has felt the full, devastating force of the COVID-19 emergency and grassroots venues urgently require support if the UK is to retain its exceptional local music scene and continue to produce world-beating artists. We look forward to further discussing how the funds will be allocated”.

Annabella Coldrick, Music Managers Forum: “After months of discussions, meetings and advocacy, culminating in the Let The Music Play campaign last Thursday, it feels that government has accepted the importance of art and culture to our society and economy. Obviously £1.57 billion is a substantial sum of money, but we still need to see the full details of this package and how it will be allocated to reach those most in need”.

“It is absolutely essential that funding stretches beyond cultural institutions and can equally benefit artists and their teams around the UK, many of whom have fallen through gaps in support despite seeing a complete collapse in their live income”.

Mark Pemberton, Association Of British Orchestras: “The ABO hugely welcomes the announcement of the government’s significant additional investment in the arts. Orchestras and their musicians have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, from the cancellation of tours to Asia in January, followed by the enforced shutdown of concert halls across the UK in March”.

“With a year of lost income in prospect, this much-needed investment, and the guidance for re-opening, will help get orchestras back to work, starting behind closed doors this summer, and on to the point when we can welcome audiences both here and abroad, we hope, later this year”.

Nicholas Serota, Arts Council England: “We greatly welcome this very significant investment by the government in the future of arts and culture in this country and look forward to working with them on next steps. I know our amazing artists and creative organisations will repay the faith that the government has shown by demonstrating the range of their creativity, by serving their communities and by helping the nation recover as we emerge from the pandemic”.

Michael Kill, Night Time Industries Association: “The announcement this evening by the Department Of Digital, Culture, Media And Sport and HM Treasury to invest £1.57 billion in our world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions, including live and recorded music venues, has been commended by the NTIA and the wider creative sector. This is an unprecedented commitment from the government and long-awaited financial support which reflects the importance of the sector to the UK and internationally”.

“We will await further details of the announcement in the coming days to gain a greater understanding of the businesses which will benefit from this investment. We hope it will also include the vital supply chain businesses which are fundamental to the creative and cultural sector, of which the night-time economy businesses are very much a big part of. We also look forward to receiving updated guidance with regard to the phased return of the night-time economy sectors”.

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